NFC May Soon Interact With Packages and Wireless Chargers
The NFC Forum today said it has agreed to work with other industry groups to increase the number of things NFC-equipped smartphones can talk to. Specifically, the NFC Forum has forged alliances with the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). The AIPIA and NFC Forum will together "focus on developing the latest technological innovations in intelligent and active packaging solutions," meaning they'll find ways to add NFC tags to consumer goods packaging. This will, in turn, allow shippers, vendors, and consumers to glean information about products by tapping their smartphones to the box. The WPC is the body behind the Qi wireless power transfer specification. The WPC and the NFC Forum plan to tackle how Qi charging coils and NFC radios can work together on mobile devices. The groups says creating an interoperability standard between NFC and Qi will help create more compact and cost-efficient charging interfaces for mobile devices, solve problems such as the gap between battery capacity and power consumption, and allow Qi-based chargers to offer NFC-stored information and/or services to smartphones. Paula Hunter, executive director of the NFC Forum, called the new partnerships a "significant step forward" for homes and workplaces, as they will help ease consumer pain points when it comes to product packaging and wireless charging.
Aukey's new Omnia USB-PD chargers use GaN technology to offer fast charging for all types of USB-C devices in unusually compact form factors. Aukey claims they are "the world's smallest PD chargers".
Anker continues to crank out a steady stream of universal chargers, batteries, and similar accessories that are at the leading edge of functionality and small form factors. Their latest PowerPort chargers offer high-power USB-C charging in tiny packages, now with flip plugs for even more portability.
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A new design for Bluetooth LE tags removes the need for a battery and fits into a cheap, thin, stamp-size sticker, or can be embedded directly in consumer product packaging. A tiny ARM processor transmits an ecrypted ID code like other Bluetooth tracking tags, but is powered by a new antenna design that harvests power from ambient radio waves.
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Facebook today made a significant number of additions to its platform that will lead to more features for end users over time. For example, a new tool will allow Facebook users to post to their Facebook Stories directly through third-party apps.
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Motorola today unveiled a full lineup of four new affordable phones, including three g-series models ranging from $169 – $299 and one 5G model for $399. All four feature large batteries (4,000 – 5,000 mAh) and large displays (6.5 – 6.8 inches).