NFC and USI collaborate to wirelessly charge styluses with a smartphone

NFC and USI collaborate to wirelessly charge styluses with a smartphone

The NFC Forum and Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) have announced a partnership that will allow mobile devices to wirelessly charge styluses.

The collaboration will allow hardware manufacturers to integrate the NFC Forum’s new Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) into products that adhere to USI standards, making it easy to charge them on the go. The NFC Forums unveiled its WLC standard earlier this year, detailing the benefits of charging via Near Field Communications (NFC).

One of the biggest benefits is that devices that integrate the NFC Forum’s WLC have more space for other components, including larger batteries. Traditional wireless charging requires dedicated coils that take up space, which is at a premium in smaller devices. By utilizing WLC, manufacturers don’t have to worry about accommodating those coils.


The only downside is the maximum output of the NFC Forum’s WLC is 1W. For styluses, which have small batteries, that shouldn’t be much of an issue. But it may pose a problem in devices that contain larger batteries such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.

The NFC Forum’s WLC uses the 13.56 MHz base frequency and leverages the NFC communication link to control the power transfer. As we explained earlier this year, there are two modes for charging: static and negotiated mode. The static mode uses standard radio frequency field strength and provides a consistent power level. The negotiated mode uses a higher RF field supporting four power transfer classes of 250, 500, 750 and 1000 milliwatts.

It’s unclear what new devices will include the NFC Forum’s WLC standard, but we will likely see products equipped with the technology sometime next year.

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.

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