INSIDE Secure, a company that specializes in near-field communication technology, announced today that it had entered into a partnership with Intel to provide the company with NFC techology to include in its chipsets. The agreement grants Intel full access to a range of INSIDE’s NFC products, including hardware, software, and firmware.
Near-field communication (NFC) technology has been drawing quite a bit of attention lately. The technology has been making its way into a variety of devices, including MasterCard’s PayPass system, and several recent models of Android-based smartphone. There are a number of applications that use the technology for a variety of tasks, including exchanging files and and contact information. There are also a number of systems either in the works or already available that allow smartphone owners to use their phone’s NFC capabilities to as a mobile wallet, much like MasterCard’s aforementioned PayPass system. Mobile carriers Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are cooperating to bring a mobile payment system called ISIS online, while Google recently released their own Google Wallet mobile payment solution (though not without difficulties).
Rumors circulated widely at the beginning of this year that the iPhone 5 (eventually released as the iPhone 4S) would include NFC technology, however that turned out not to be the case. The iPhone rumor mill is unusually quiet for this time of year - owing, no doubt, to the later-than-normal release of the current iPhone model. When it grinds back into action, however, we can probably expect NFC to pop up again.
There is no information on what exactly Intel intends to do with the technology to which it gains access as part of this deal, however the potential applications are legion. Intel makes chips that go in an array of devices ranging from computers to smartphones and tablets to televisions to in-car infotainment systems. There are a myriad of potential uses for NFC in any of these devices.