By Stephen Schenck | September 29, 2011 7:35 PM
We’ve heard of NFC being used to authorize payments, facilitate phone-to-phone file transfers, and even unlock doors. It’s that second use we’re interested in today: using NFC instead of email, Bluetooth, or SD card swapping to send files from one phone to another. A newly-presented specification has been published by the NFC Forum, hoping to simplify such transfers and ensure compatibility between devices.
The Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol will let smartphones swap everything from whole files to small strings of data like a website’s URL with other handsets following the spec. Phones compatible with SNEP could have the support built-in to the NFC stack, not requiring any third-party apps in order to facilitate the exchange of files.
Though we still have to wait for more phones to have NFC hardware, and for support for SNEP to spread, this sounds like a fantastic way to get users excited about NFC. One problem with so many of the uses we’ve heard of for NFC is that they’re laser-focused on one specific task. SNEP is flexible enough to be used in ways its creators probably haven’t even considered yet, and its cross-platform nature could be its biggest selling point, especially if Apple comes out with NFC support in one of its next iPhones.