NFC Forum and Bluetooth SIG expand developer's guide to include Bluetooth Smart Technology

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) the trade association responsible for the development, promotion and protection of Bluetooth technology, has announced the publication of a new, updated version of the Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC Application Document. The document provides developers with examples of how to implement Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) using NFC to take maximum advantage of both technologies when they are present in the same device.

The new version has been expanded to include descriptions of how to use NFC for fast and easy Bluetooth low energy out-of-band (OOB) pairing, a key capability of Bluetooth Smart, the intelligent, power-friendly version of Bluetooth wireless technology. The Application Document, which provides developers with multiple design options for Bluetooth Smart pairing, is available for free download at:

Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC was first published in 2011 by the two organizations. Late last year, the NFC Forum and Bluetooth SIG signed an official liaison agreement that calls for the two associations to collaborate on projects and to evaluate opportunities to enhance interoperability and the user experience of devices that use their technologies.

NFC and Bluetooth are complementary wireless technologies that can be designed to work in concert in a variety of use cases. For example, manufacturers have the flexibility to use NFC technology in conjunction with SSP by supporting both negotiated and static handover between Bluetooth devices, such as wireless headsets, personal health devices, smartphones, cars, and TVs.

"Wireless technology providers are increasingly turning to NFC to help ensure a positive user experience during device-to-device communications, whether pairing consumer electronics or enabling the Internet of Things," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "This revised Application Document will make it easier for developers to implement the two technologies seamlessly, bringing the power and convenience of NFC and Bluetooth to consumers everywhere. We appreciate the efforts of Bluetooth SIG in helping us produce this useful guide."

"Bluetooth Smart is enabling completely new scenarios for wireless connectivity and bringing to life the Internet of Things – many of these new use cases could potentially benefit from simplified pairing through NFC," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "As we move towards shipping four billion Bluetooth enabled products annually, ensuring developers have multiple options for device pairing is just one of the many ways that the SIG is making Bluetooth one of the most developer-friendly and consumer-friendly wireless technologies in the market."

The NFC Forum holds face-to-face, all-members meetings three times a year to advance NFC initiatives, and to address specifications and other projects under development. An all-members meeting is taking place this week in Edinburgh, Scotland. On June 17, the NFC Forum is hosting a "Tap Into NFC" Developer Event from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Radisson Blu Edinburgh. Developers from all industries are invited to attend to learn how to jump-start their NFC application development. Advance registration is required.

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