The new Web NFC framework forms part of Chrome 81, which was released in beta for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS and Windows last week.

It will allow users to interact with NFC tags straight from their browser, enabling websites to read, manipulate and update information held on the tag.

Until now, users without a dedicated app could read tags using native operating system support, and this might open a browser session to take them to a particular URL.

The new model means data could be read from and written to an NFC tag without requiring network access, or without the need for the information to be stored in the cloud, bringing to web-based apps the same capabilities that mobile apps have enjoyed for some time.

New framework

“Web NFC provides sites [with] the ability to read and write to NFC tags when they are in close proximity to the user’s device (usually 5-10cm, 2-4in),” Google’s François Beaufort explains in an in-depth introduction to the new framework.

“The current scope is limited to NFC data exchange format (NDEF), a lightweight binary message format that works across different tag formats.

“Web NFC is limited to NDEF because the security properties of reading and writing NDEF data are more easily quantifiable. Low-level I/O operations (eg ISO-DEP, NFC-A/B, NFC-F) and host-based card emulation (HCE) are not supported.”

“Web NFC is only available to top-level, secure browsing contexts, and origins must first request the ‘nfc’ permission while handling a user gesture,” the Web NFC developers explain.

“To then perform a read or write, the web page must be visible when the user touches an NFC tag with their device. The browser uses haptic feedback to indicate a tap.

“Access to the NFC radio is blocked if the display is off or the device is locked. For backgrounded web pages, receiving and pushing NFC content are suspended.”

Use cases

Example use cases, Beaufort suggests, include:

“Origin trials allow you to try new features and give feedback on their usability, practicality and effectiveness to the web standards community.”

nl_NLDutch
nl_NLDutch

Beer

Duvel

4,60

  • Untappd: 3.76
  • 8.5%
  • Belgian Strong Golden Ale

Duvel is a natural beer with a subtle bitterness, a refined flavour and a distinctive hop character

beer

La Chouffe Blonde

4,20

  • Untappd: 3.84
  • 8%
  • Belgian Strong Golden Ale

A slight hoppy taste, combining notes of fresh coriander and fruity tones, is the drink which gives you the best for life.

beer

Peroni

3,80

  • Untappd: 3.14
  • 5.1%
  • Lager - Euro Pale

A light and tropical maize lager, a perfect thirst quencher for sunny and not-so-sunny days. It’s 4.7% allow you a little longer on a terrace or waterfront of choice.

Food

Brutal Burger

9,00

  • Beef meat
  • Tasty & Juicy
  • Goes perfectly with a Vedett IPA

Big, juicy and tasty – everything what you’d expect from a great hamburger.

Gin of the month

Skinny bitch

10,50

  • Brutal's favorite
  • Ketel one Vodka & Soda

Perfectly distilled with natural botanical ingredients for a wonderfully tingling, refreshing taste.