Evans Data Corp's newly released Mobile Development Survey claims that over 31% of mobile developers today are supporting Near Field Communications (NFC) in their mobile apps.
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The survey further claims that an additional 45% plan to support this technology in the next 12 months.
Near Field Communication is a set of industry standards that has been developed for smartphones (and also bank credit cards) to allow communication between devices when they are brought together at roughly one inch apart.
This May 2013 study of over 500 mobile app developers found that more developers have plans to support NFC in the near future than any of several other device features, including voice recognition, range finder, and device pairing.
NOTE: While surveys like this and a glut of manufacturers including Intel extoll the virtues of NFC, uptake in the market to replace cash or credit cards has been slow. A lack of software in the market combined with consumer reticence to adopt these new payment systems slowed down the global momentum for NFC at this stage.
The primary driver for NFC support is security and access (keycards and dongles, identity, entry and access, boarding passes, and transponders). Other popular drivers for NFC support are social networking, Bluetooth, and WiFi connectivity and commerce.
"NFC is the next evolutionary step in mobile computing," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp. "It's clear that it's going to change the way we perform everyday actions such as opening a locked door, getting on an airplane, or making a purchase at a store. But developers also have plans for the technology that include games, measurements, and connections to appliances, cars, or other devices. The extent to which NFC will impact us is only constrained by the imagination of the developers."
Although NFC was the technology that the most developers plan to support in the next year, still image capture, video image capture, and GPS are the device features more developers are supporting today. Device features are extremely important in determining how many will target their apps for a particular device. Over 70% say they optimize their apps to take advantage of particular device capabilities.