New NFC Specification Will Let Smartphones Charge Small Devices

A new NFC specification announced this week by the NFC Froum will allow future NFC enabled devices to offer wireless charging capabilities, which means a smartphone could be used to charge a small accessory like headphones.

airpods apple watch duo
According to the NFC Forum, the Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) will allow smartphones or other NFC charging devices to wirelessly charge small, battery-powered consumer and IoT devices at a power transfer rate of up to one watt.

The 1W rating is much slower than the Qi-based standard used by iPhones and other smartphones. Qi-based wireless charging on the iPhone maxes out at 7.5W, but is even faster on some Android devices.

Charging over NFC would require new hardware, and it's not a feature that can be added to existing devices. The NFC Forum believes the WLC specification could be used to complement Qi-based wireless charging.

It works using a single antenna to manage communications and charging, which is convenient for low-power devices like smart watches, fitness trackers, and earbuds that already use NFC for connectivity because there's no need to build in Qi support.

"The NFC Forum's Wireless Charging Technical Specification allows for wireless charging of small battery-powered devices like those found in many of the estimated 36 billion IoT devices in use today," said Koichi Tagawa, chair, NFC Forum. "NFC wireless charging is truly transformative because it changes the way we design and interact with small, battery-powered devices as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."

Apple in 2015 joined the NFC Forum and participates in the approval of new NFC specifications and developments.

Rumors in 2019 suggested that Apple was working on bilateral wireless charging that would allow its iPhones to charge the AirPods and the Apple Watch, but the feature was ultimately nixed. At the time, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the two-way wireless charging feature Apple was exploring did not meet Apple's requirements.

Samsung has implemented bilateral wireless charging in its smartphones, but the Wireless PowerShare option does not use NFC and is powered by the Qi-based charging coils in the device. Samsung's smartphones can charge other smartphones or accessories like headphones that support Qi wireless chargers.

Tag: NFC

Top Rated Comments

Radeon85 Avatar
12 months ago

1W?! That's five times slower than Apple's bundled 5W charger. Pass.
Better than nothing, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Handy for small top ups.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anek007 Avatar
12 months ago

I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...

I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...
NFC stands for near field communication. It’s contact less but range is only 50-100mm with most nfc devices. Highly doubt nfc will ever be long range. NFC has been in iPhones for over 5 years and Apple barely open up only to recent iPhones and iOS 13.
The Apple Watch doesn’t even use the standard Qi charging but a modified proprietary version. Would love to juice my Apple watch from my iPhone. Even if I can get 10-20% it helps get through my 2nd day when I forget to put the watch on the charger at night.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mi7chy Avatar
12 months ago
1W?! That's five times slower than Apple's bundled 5W charger. Pass.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattopotamus Avatar
12 months ago
wondering if this has something to do with the Apple Key for cars.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will.O.Bie Avatar
12 months ago
...then everyone complains even more about the iPhone's battery life, next!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Attirex Avatar
12 months ago
"....as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."

And creates an ever-growing mountain of gadget, battery, and electronic waste. #wall-e #buynlarge
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
jaguar car homekit

User Adds Car to HomeKit for In-App Controls and Automations, Showing Future Potential

Thursday April 15, 2021 6:17 am PDT by
Blogger Siobhán Ellis has successfully integrated their electric car into their Apple HomeKit setup, adding in-app toggles for door locking, climate control, and more. The setup, which is outlined in detail on the blog Practical HomeKit, allows multiple elements of a Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle to be monitored, controlled, and automated using the Home app. Using a HomeBridge plugin for ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...