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Web NFC reaches a key milestone

Since its inception in 2015, the Web NFC Community Group has been exploring means to allow web sites to read and write to nearby NFC (Near Field Communication) devices (e.g., tags and phones) in a secure and privacy preserving manner.

I’ve had an honor to lead this passionate group of people on this journey and see how the early (some said crazy!) idea has grown and gathered a passionate community and fans around it. Thanks to encouraging feedback from a diverse group of browser engineers, spec authors, web developers, NFC technology, usability and privacy experts, and the inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee himself, the Web NFC capability is now exposed through an ergonomic yet capable API able to support both emerging and established NFC use cases. What has remained throughout the years is the focus on a lightweight binary message format called NDEF that works across different tag formats, and provides a stable foundation to build on in the future.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the group has reached the point at which it feels the Web NFC specification (explainer) and its Chromium implementation are ready for broader ecosystem feedback. You should see Web NFC pop up in Chrome’s Active Trials in January 2020, and if you just can’t wait, you can try Web NFC already today using Chrome Canary on Android by toggling the “enable-webnfc” flag.

Happy experimentation!

Anssi Kostiainen, Web NFC Community Group Chair

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