Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Open Android API to drive NFC RFID apps

NXP and Trusted Logic lead the integration of NFC technology into Android

Chip makers NXP and Trusted Logic have developed and launched an open source API for NFC RFID chips on the Android operating system. This will enable mobile phone users to access a new range of contactless applications such as mobile payments, transport and event ticketing as well as data sharing directly from their Android phones via the short range NFC standards.

NXP and Trusted Logic say they pioneered the integration of NFC technology into Android with the first versions implemented and showcased last year. The companies are now using the open source community to define an industry standard for the integration of NFC technology within Android. Opening this API to the community will enable application and service providers to develop their NFC applications with a standard framework as they did with the JSR 257 specification. This will drive the creation of compelling NFC applications by handset manufacturers and independent application developers alike.

The API has been released following consultation with various eco-system partners, including mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and NFC controller providers.

A second-generation NFC Android stack based on this Open NFC API is now available from NXP and Trusted Logic. It provides a complete integration into the Android framework, comparable to the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi services already integrated in Android.

“This is the most complete Android proposal on the market. Our key partners in Android confirm this is a solid proposal and that release of this open NFC API is essential for a successful deployment of NFC applications,” said Henri Ardevol, general manager secure transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “We are excited to contribute to this industry standard and are looking forward to propose a reference implementation above the Android Hardware Abstraction Layer to the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)”.

“With our second generation NFC Android API, our solution is mature enough to be broadly shared with all the players,” said Philippe Dubois, general manager professional and consumer devices, Trusted Logic. “This allows each of them to propose further enhancements and contribute through the Apache License model. Application developers can also have access to our Android™ environment on PC and make use of the latest API version.”

The API specification is accessible via a single mail request to NFCforAndroid@trusted-logic.com. An Apache License 2.0 model was selected in order to provide a legal framework to new contributions.
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