NFC standard gets update for wireless charging with up to 1 watt

The NFC Forum has added the Wireless Charging Specification to the NFC standard. This specification makes it possible to charge wirelessly via NFC devices with a maximum of 1 watt. That should be suitable for wireless earphones, smartwatches and other gadgets.

The new specification ensures that the 13.56MHz frequency used for NFC can be used for both data transfer and wireless charging. So no extra antenna is needed and in this way devices with NFC should be able to charge small gadgets wirelessly. The NFC Forum mentions wireless earphones, smartwatches and styluses as examples.

To charge wirelessly via NFC, both devices must have NFC hardware. Some bluetooth headsets are already equipped with nfc to make pairing with smartphones easy. The feature will not work with hardware currently on the market. To implement wireless charging via NFC, manufacturers must release new hardware with the Wireless Charging Specification added. It is not yet known when that will happen.

Current nfc implementations already use wireless power transfer to read passive rfid tags. The new WCS standard offers a negotiated mode that allows the transfer of 250, 500, 750 or 1000 milliwatts of power.

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