Extending the NFC Value Chain

NFC End User Experience

Leveraging NFC to improve production and stock management processes extends the value companies can get out of this powerful yet affordable technology.

Near Field Communication (NFC) tags are more than just ID tags for collecting static data. NFC can easily be added to product circuitry to provide bi-directional communication with your product. It allows users to read data from the product, but also to change it - for example, to reconfigure your product.

Using NFC tags to create the connection between a mobile and a product requires no codes, no network setup. Connection is instantaneous, intuitive, and secure. NFC draws no power from the product. Instead, it is powered by the mobile phone or reader during communication. Not to mention that NFC tags are available at a fraction of the cost of other communication technologies.

NFC is already improving user experiences in products ranging from home appliances to industrial controllers. For configuring product's from a mobile app (ex. setting features of electric radiators), NFC 3-Stroke Configuration is an intuitive approach. Users are more comfortable using apps to navigate and set parameters, and the NFC connection is so quick and easy that anyone can do it.

However, this same technology can easily be used in other phases of the product's life as well.

NFC Manufacturing and Logistic Value Chain

4 Ways to Extend the NFC Value Chain

In production, NFC can be used to program or configure electronics. A program transmitted via NFC can be stored in memory and read when the electronics are first powered up. Using contactless NFC eliminates physical connectors in the electronic design and human interventions, like connecting programming cables. 

In the warehouse, NFC can be used to verify products and locations even when the products are in final packaging and have no power supply.

When dispatched, NFC can be used to configure products for specific markets or sales channels (ex. setting language or (de)activating features). This can be done just-in-time after the products have been ordered, which optimizes warehouse space and attribution of stock.

Throughout the product's life, data can be read and updated. This improves product traceability even up to he moment when it is decommissioned, or recycled.

Reading data or modifying data can be done product-by-product using a mobile phone, or in batches using industrial NFC readers.

By using NFC to improve production, stock management and other processes, companies that invest in NFC can extend the value they get out of this powerful yet affordable technology.

Explore the Possibilities of NFC and Mobile Apps

Wondering where to start... The NFC Forum provides a host of resources, references, products and companies that can help you get started.

If you're just starting and want to try NFC right away, contact IoTize here. With our TapNLink NFC modules featuring STMicroelectronics' ST25DV dynamic NFC tag, you can instantly add NFC in your electronic design without changing existing code.

Then using our IoT App Creator, with just a few clicks, and no coding, you can create your user interface app to do whatever you want. Retrieve product data, configure product features and even control access to special features. With IoTize, you can literally start exploring all these possibilities on your existing products without re-writing software.