There's not a ton of details on this just yet, but Microsoft confirmed during its Build keynote today that Windows 8 devices equipped with an NFC chip will be able to use a tap-to-share feature to either send content from one device to another, or simply receive content from something like an NFC-equipped card.
Update: NXP Semiconductors has now confirmed that it "worked closely" with Microsoft to develop an NFC driver for Windows 8, and that it's also supplied the NFC solution used in the Windows 8 tablets given out at Build. According to the company, the NFC support in Windows 8 includes things like device pairing (simply tapping to pair a Bluetooth headset, for example), data sharing, and the ability to transfer control from one device to another (such as during a video call). And that's all to say nothing of the usual fare like interacting with an NFC-enhanced advertisement, not to mention other applications that will surely follow once it's actually put into practice. The company's press release is after the break.
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NXP's NFC Solution Supports Windows 8
NXP supplies NFC solution for Windows 8-based tablets at BUILD
Eindhoven, Netherlands and Anaheim, Calif., September 13, 2011 – NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced that its PN544 Near Field Communication (NFC) radio controller will support Windows 8. NXP worked closely with Microsoft to develop a NFC driver for Windows 8, enabling a variety of use cases that are triggered by close proximity or a "tap". NXP also confirms that it is supplying the NFC solution on the Windows 8-based tablets distributed at the Microsoft BUILD conference, taking place between September 13 – 16, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
NFC technology offers a high level of convenience and through simple touch gestures allows various device, such as tablets, notebooks, PCs, smartphones and other computing devices, to easily interact with each other or with passive devices, such as tags, labels and posters. The "Tap to pair/ Tap to share" and other use cases available with Windows 8 include device/accessory pairing, in which one can tap to pair with Bluetooth headset or speaker for example, and ease of data sharing between devices. NFC can also be used to transfer control from one device to another, such as to initiate a transfer of a video call from a tablet to another NFC-enabled device. NFC has the unique capability to link the physical world with the Cloud, enabling the tablet to interact with smart posters and other devices equipped with a NFC tag.
Developers and computing equipment manufacturers can take advantage of NFC support for Windows 8 to offer a wide variety of consumer and enterprise use cases such as offering promotions, coupons, and discount codes via NFC tags and posters; bringing physical touch points to online social networking for enhanced check-in experience; perform surveys and brand reviews; add NFC-enabled tokens to unlock or enhance a gaming experience; and, enable content delivery in document, audio or video format.
"We chose to work with NXP's NFC solution because they are a proven technology leader in near field communication," said Aidan Marcuss, senior director of Windows product management, Microsoft Corp. "NXP has a deep understanding of NFC and we are working with them to deliver the right hardware, software and support to bring this technology to our partners, developers, and ultimately the consumer."
"NFC support for Windows 8 is a significant step in the roll out of this game-changing technology and truly signifies that the time of NFC is now," said Ruediger Stroh, executive vice president and general manager, Identification Business, NXP Semiconductors. "NFC offers consumers an unprecedented user experience and we are very excited to be working with Microsoft to offer NFC for Windows 8."
NFC is a market proven technology co-invented by NXP in 2002. In 2004 NXP co-founded the NFC Forum to lead the collaboration with all industry stakeholders and help standardize the technology. NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. Ranked as the number one contactless IC vendor by ABI Research for three years in a row, NXP is the global leader in NFC solutions, field proven in over 150 NFC trials and landmark commercial deployments worldwide.
About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Nasdaq: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010. For more information visit www.nxp.com.