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    iPhone NFC

    New Smartphone NFC Specification Alert for Wireless Charging

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    Eileen Potsangbam
    Eileen Potsangbam May 24, 2020

    Pretty soon you’ll be able to charge your Apple Watches, Airpods, and other low power accessories with your iPhone! The NFC Forum announced a new smartphone NFC specification that will enable wireless charging in all future NFC-enabled devices.

    What exactly is NFC?

    Short for ‘Near Field Communication’, NFC is a wireless technology present in many smartphones that allows them to interact with other devices. It’s kind of like pairing with a Bluetooth speaker by tapping your phone on it.

    The Wireless Charging Specification (WLC)

    Coming back to the announcement; the NFC forum unveiled a new standard called the Wireless Charging Specification (WLC). This will enable smartphones or chargers with NFC to power devices at 1W. While this charging speed might not sound like much, it’s sufficient enough to power devices like smartwatches in a decent amount of time.

    That being said, the 1W power is much slower than the 7.5W Qi-based standard used by iPhones and other smartphones. Charging over NFC will require new hardware, which cannot be added to existing devices. However, the NFC forum says that the WLC specification could be used to complement Qi-based charging.

    What this means going forward is that the ‘wireless charging’ feature is likely to become a more standardized part of smartphones. Sounds exciting!

    What this means going forward is that the ‘wireless charging’ feature is likely to become a more standardized part of smartphones. Sounds exciting!

    How Does WLC Work?

    The feature uses a single antenna to manage communication and charging. It’s especially convenient for low-power devices like AirPods, fitness trackers, and smartwatches, as they already have NFC connectivity.

    In 2019, rumours were floating around about Apple working on bilateral charging for the iPhone 11 that would enable it to charge AirPods and Apple Watch. Sadly, the feature failed to see the light of day. Meanwhile, Samsung has already implemented a Qi-based bilateral wireless charging feature in its smartphones.Well, whatever the past may be, this new smartphone NFC specification means that Apple’s dream of implementing bilateral wireless charging is close to becoming a reality. And we can’t wait to see it!

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