Apps4Android’s Near Field Communications (NFC) Accessibility Project

Please Note:

This is not the website of the Near Field Communications (NFC) Forum, nor is Apps4Android’s “NFC-Enabled Android Smart Device,” NFC Control Application, Accessibility Project currently affiliated, in any way with the NFC Forum. The NFC Forum website is http://www.nfc-forum.org/home/.

Objectives of this Project:

The objectives of Apps4Android’s Near Field Communications (NFC) Accessibility Project are to:

  1. develop new, fully-accessible, Android-based NFC applications; and,
  2. enhance the accessibility of already-existing Android-based NFC applications

in support of enabling the following targeted communities of consumers to easily access, use and enjoy all of the benefits of NFC ecosystems.

  1. Consumers with disabilities (826 million consumers worldwide2);
  2. Consumers 65+ years of age  (519 million consumers worldwide2); and,
  3. Consumers who never learned to read (1.2 billion consumers worldwide2).

Uses and Applications of NFC:

NFC technology is currently mainly aimed at being used with mobile phones. There are three main use cases for NFC:

  • Card emulation: the NFC device behaves like an existing contactless card;
  • Reader mode: the NFC device is active and read a passive RFID tag, for example for interactive advertising; and,
  • P2P mode: two NFC devices are communicating together and exchanging information.

Other uses include:

  • Mobile ticketing in public transport: an extension of the existing contactless infrastructure, such as Mobile Phone Boarding Pass.
  • Mobile payment: the device acts as a debit/credit payment card.
  • Other applications in the future could include:
  • Electronic ticketing: airline tickets, concert/event tickets, and others;
  • Electronic money;
  • Travel cards;
  • Identity documents; and,
  • Electronic keys: car keys, house/office keys, hotel room keys, etc..
  • NFC can even be used to configure and initiate other wireless network connections such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Ultra-wideband.

Architecture Document

Android Devices: Enhanced Accessibility Using Near Field Communication (NFC) Tags

Near Field Communications in the News:

Additional NFC Information:

The NFC Forum (external website) believes that NFC is going to change your daily life, forever… and we agree with them. Here’s how they describe it1:

“Making purchases, accessing facilities and transportation systems, and getting information on the fly is about to get much easier. Consider the intuitive simplicity of holding an NFC-enabled mobile phone close to a terminal to purchase products or services – just touch and go. Think about how easy it would be to set up your wireless home office just by holding your PC, keyboard, display, and mouse close together. Imagine downloading an MP3 of your new favorite song in seconds while you’re on the road. How would you like to stroll right into a sports arena without needing paper tickets? Consider how simple public transportation would be without cash, cards, or tokens.

Millions of people around the globe already have experience with NFC-enabled products and services. In Europe and Asia, trials of this exciting new technology have successfully illustrated how people carrying mobile phones or smart cards with built-in NFC can make purchases, get directions, exchange information, and buy transportation simply by bringing them close to NFC-enabled devices embedded in:

  • Information kiosks
  • Retail registers
  • Advertising signs
  • Street posters
  • Vending machines
  • Thousands of other devices, systems and signage

Rapid progress has been made since 2004 toward an NFC-enabled world. Strategy Analytics forecasts mobile phone-based contactless payments will facilitate over $36 billion of worldwide consumer spending by 2011. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, one third of all mobile phones will be NFC-equipped in a span of three to five years.”

The NFC Forum’s website goes on to state1:

“End users of this technology [will] benefit from [the] comprehensive specifications developed by the NFC Forum, designed to make NFC devices interoperable. NFC Forum members are developing products that enable consumers to pay for physical goods, enter controlled environments like arenas or parking areas, and access digital services anywhere, at any time, using any NFC-Forum-compliant device.”

Useful Links:

References:

1 NFC for Consumers: http://www.nfc-forum.org/aboutnfc/consumers/

2 Jacobs, Steve. 2012. Business Benefits of Accessible ICT Design

Share