Adoption by Major Players and Scores of Companies Drives Expanded Availability of Universal Symbol and Touchpoint
WAKEFIELD, Mass.--The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC), today announced that a growing number of companies are displaying the N-Mark, the universal symbol and touchpoint for NFC, on smart posters, tags and media, promotional materials, and websites. In response to this increasing popularity, industry demand, and accompanying NFC market growth, the NFC Forum is broadening the availability of the N-Mark.
Previously provided for tags and media, the N-Mark is now offered for software and devices. Interested parties may obtain the N-Mark today, free of charge, through a simple click-through license, accessible via download. To educate N-Mark licensees and encourage proper N-Mark usage, the NFC Forum has developed an N-Mark Brand Guide that provides detailed usage guidelines and examples, and outlines the value of the N-Mark brand.
"To promote the development of NFC, it is fundamental to have a standards-based symbol that is globally interoperable and recognizable," said Don Tait, Senior Market Analyst from IMS Research. "The N-Mark fits these criteria, and this will help the NFC market to gain traction and acceptance over the coming years."
According to Deloitte's latest Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report, almost 200 million NFC-equipped devices will be shipped in 2012. Currently, more than 1,000 companies throughout the world have signed the N-Mark Trademark License Agreement and downloaded the N-Mark. In addition, dozens of companies to date have publicly stated their commitment to using the N-Mark with their products and services. These supporters include NFC Forum Sponsor members NEC Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, Sony Corporation, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Sony Mobile Communications, and Principal members CSR and BlackBerry® maker Research In Motion (RIM).
"It is gratifying to see that so many companies appreciate the N-Mark, both as the universal symbol for NFC and as a touchpoint for initiating NFC services," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "Their support, along with the broader availability of the N-Mark, will help drive consumer recognition of the N-Mark and all it represents - greater convenience, ease, and interoperability."
When companies display the N-Mark on their products and materials, it makes it easy for people to identify NFC-enabled devices and services, providing nearly effortless access to the full power, ease, and convenience of NFC solutions. Use of the N-Mark also helps to promote the adoption of NFC Forum specifications and consumer awareness and use of NFC technology. The N-Mark may also be displayed alongside proprietary marks, thereby helping to identify provider-specific solutions that complement NFC Forum specifications. Widespread adoption of NFC is essential to the NFC Forum's goal of ensuring global interoperability of NFC solutions.
In addition to the companies mentioned above, the following organizations have publicly stated their commitment to using the N-Mark:
ACOS Co., Ltd.
Blue Bite, LLC
Gauge Mobile Solutions, Inc.
Ksenia Security s.r.l.
Near Field Solutions, Ltd.
Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca
In addition to the N-Mark, the NFC Forum promotes global interoperability through the NFC Forum Certification Program. The gold standard of compliance, the NFC Forum Certification Program further benefits manufacturers by providing increased assurance that their devices conform to NFC Forum specifications and will interoperate with other NFC Forum-certified devices. NFC Forum members whose products pass certification testing are entitled to display the NFC Forum Certification Mark on websites, product packaging, and marketing materials, confirming that their products comply with this gold standard.
About Near Field Communication Technology
NFC technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch.
A standards-based connectivity technology, NFC harmonizes today's diverse contactless technologies, enabling current and future solutions in areas such as access control, consumer electronics, healthcare, information collection and exchange, loyalty and coupons, payments, and transport.
NFC technology is supported by the world's leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.
About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum's mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum's 160+ global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability.
The NFC Forum's Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Barclaycard, Broadcom Corporation, INSIDE Secure, Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc.
"NFC technologies enable truly intuitive, easy-to-understand user experiences for a full range of ICT services," said Masakazu Yamashina, Vice President and Senior General Manager Personal Solutions Operations Unit, NEC Corporation. "NEC will incorporate these NFC technologies into a wide variety of personal devices as part of improving user experience and promoting use of the N-Mark with NFC capable products."
"NXP welcomes the endeavor of the NFC Forum to establish the N-Mark as the universal symbol for NFC," said Alexander Rensink, Director of Strategic Marketing, Business Unit Identification, Product Line Secure Transactions, at NXP Semiconductors. "This mark enhances the consumer experience and will drive global adoption of NFC-enabled products and services. NXP is strongly committed to the roll-out of interoperable NFC technology by providing ICs allowing the creation of NFC Forum-compliant consumer products."
Sony Corporation, FeliCa Business Division
"We value NFC's user friendly, globally interoperable interface and the many opportunities it creates," said Izumi Kawanishi, Senior General Manager of the FeliCa Business Division, at Sony Corporation. "That's why we worked to make our new RC-S380 reader/writer the world's first NFC Forum-certified product. We see the N-Mark as an easy-to-recognize identifier of NFC, and we're closely involved in the NFC Forum initiatives to support it."
Sony Mobile Communications
"NFC offers consumers the ability to extend their communication experience beyond the smartphone, and Sony Mobile Communications is poised to drive the development of new exciting consumer experiences enhanced by NFC," said Nikolaus Scheurer, Director Marketing Planning, Sony Mobile Communications. "The NFC Forum's N-Mark symbol is an important initiative to increase awareness and showcase the user benefits and experiences of NFC among consumers."
"We see a need for an industry-wide touchpoint logo that allows NFC to develop into application areas beyond mobile payment," said Paul Morris, Director of NFC at CSR.
Research In Motion (RIM)
Andrew Bocking, VP Handheld Software Product Management, Research In Motion, said: "We commend the success the NFC Forum has already had in gathering diverse support for the N-Mark. At RIM we are strongly supporting industry standards in order to help foster a thriving ecosystem of NFC applications and use cases and to promote compatibility between BlackBerry devices and devices from other manufacturers."