The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for convenient and secure communication in industries such as retail, marketing, and smart home automation, along with the widespread adoption of near field communication (NFC)-enabled devices, and growing importance of technologies such as NFC chips for secure communication, mobile applications for content delivery, and IoT platforms for managing NFC-enabled devices, collectively driving advancements in NFC broadcasting within the IoT landscape. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4. 1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in technology: NFC broadcasting. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, real-time fault monitoring, smart inspection, and physiological monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart window screens, smart lighting, and multi-sensor collision avoidance are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is NFC broadcasting, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the technology industry

NFC broadcasting is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

NFC broadcasting involves a close-range wireless communication method that transmits data between electronic devices using electromagnetic induction. When compatible devices are brought into close proximity, they can exchange data without relying on an internet connection or physical touch.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 270+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of NFC broadcasting.

Key players in NFC broadcasting – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to NFC broadcasting

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ZTE 112 Unlock Company Profile
HTC 42 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 31 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 45 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 34 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 192 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 99 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 35 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 265 Unlock Company Profile
NXP Semiconductors 37 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 56 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 40 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 71 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 197 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 89 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 118 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 471 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 47 Unlock Company Profile
GN Netcom 36 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 31 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 83 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 74 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 372 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 69 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 75 Unlock Company Profile
Huizhou TCL Mobile Communication 32 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 43 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 60 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 97 Unlock Company Profile
Honor Device 40 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in NFC broadcasting, Sony Group is one of the leading patents filers.The company’s patent describes an information processing system, comprising of a processor that manages the switching of the content's output location when a mobile device approaches or comes into close range of a second device.Other prominent patent filers in the space include BlackBerry and Apple.

In terms of application diversity, Digimarc held the top position, while Nike and Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach, Nike leads the pack, followed by Digimarc and Philips.

NFC broadcasting is of great significance in IoT as it enables seamless and secure data exchange between devices in proximity. The technology is pivotal for applications such as contactless payments, simplified device pairing, and targeted advertising, enhancing user convenience and expanding the capabilities of IoT-enabled systems.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.