The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just one technology –
it’s many technologies working together to increase the automation,
safety and efficiency of everyday tasks. In smart cities, for example, the
IoT involves a mix of technologies that create a greener, more connected urban
That’s the case in Columbus, where NXP has partnered with the US
Department of Transportation (US DoT) as part of the
Smart City Initiative. Automotive (V2X) technology is enhancing public and private transportation,
while smart card IC technology is creating a single credential for multi-modal
transport, and long-range RFID technology is easing traffic congestion and
helping prevent accidents.
Bringing the IoT home
Smart homes, which are very much
a part of smart cities, typically use a different combination of technologies
to enable IoT features. Familiar wireless technologies, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and
NFC, combine with sensors and special light fixtures, to create smart homes that
are more efficient, more automated and more programmable.
IoT applications for the home have been available for a few years now, and
promise to improve life in lots of ways, but, so far, smart-home solutions can
be hard to deploy. Often the technology interfaces are too complicated, and
things don’t work together quite as seamlessly as expected.
Making it easier with NFC
Technology developers are
keenly aware of the need for simplicity and convenience in smart-home
in particular, has formed an
IoT Special Interest Group (SIG) to investigate how NFC makes it easier to connect, commission and
control IoT devices in the home. The figure below gives an overview of what
Source: NFC Forum, 2016
NFC lets you pair devices that use different communications technologies,
so you can initiate a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi transaction with just a tap. Join a
Wi-Fi network without having to enter settings or complex passcodes, or add
a new light fixture to your network without keying in a product ID or serial
number. NFC is especially helpful when working with IoT devices that
don’t have a user interface, such as light bulbs, sensors, small
appliances, electrical outlets and so on.
NFC makes it easier to install your setup, log data and maintain your
network. In most cases, your smartphone becomes the user interface for the
smart-home network, making it possible to interact with IoT devices. Tap
your phone to your water meter, to monitor usage or view your account or
run diagnostics on your Internet-connected TV, so you can resolve a problem,
access warranty information or request a service call. You can even use
your phone or tablet to program appliances that aren’t connected to
Wi-Fi, like your microwave, for a new level of programmability.
NFC gives you greater control over settings and access privileges, so
there’s a higher degree of flexibility with a higher degree of
security. You can set your washing machine to start early in the morning, or
program your preferred settings for lighting, temperature and
entertainment, so your living room is just the way you like it, or
temporarily disable your alarm to let guests in.
Get the details
With support of NXP’s NFC
experts, the NFC Forum has published a short, easy-to-read white paper that
summarizes use cases for connecting, commissioning and controlling with NFC
at home. You can download a copy of the
white paper here.
How has your experience been with connecting, commissioning and
controlling IoT devices?
NXP’s NFC Technology Hub
NFC Pairing Article: More time to relax, entertain and connect at home
NXP Forum White Paper: Simplifying IoT: Connecting, Commissioning and Controlling with Near Field