Microsoft talks NFC on Windows 8

Windows 8 was introduced to developers during this week’s Microsoft Build Windows event. Microsoft is looking to create a meaningful device environment and therefore aims to include NFC, Near Field Communications, in the operating system’s hardware specs. NFC industry blog NFC World shared on how NFC will be integrated into the new OS and what tools will be at developers’ disposal when building apps. Here are some of the key elements I found in this very important embrace to NFC:

  • PC to PC touching: Pretty cool form for initiating communications, instead of setting up network connectivity over Bluetooth or Wifi. While heavier, even touching laptops could be an interesting form to make such interactions happen.
    Interesting to see real people interacting with NFC devices and getting how they work very quickly
  • Windows 8 provides rich APIs to set up higher-level network communications via NFC (e.g. Bluetooth, WiFi) and abstracting them further to actual operations – gaming, file sharing, etc. Right now this is left to the app developer to implement on other platforms.
  • Smart device to smart device networking means one has to be the client, another has to be the server. Where it gets interesting is having many clients to one server. Escalation of complexity could be pretty rapid, though with today’s CPUs that is less of a concern unless you have 100 people tapping your NFC module to initiate contact.
  • Not sure of the value of pub-sub over NFC: you touch a device to get a message from a queue you care about. Are you supposed to go away and care about that queue in the future? Microsoft clearly expects devices to have multiple queues; not sure why.
  • They need to test their demos better (lesson learned to anyone who watches the video)