A long-standing issue with smart locks is the potential for the batteries to drain while they are locked, requiring a manual bypass. A solution to this is to use NFC wireless power transfer to harvest the power required to unlock, from a device such as a smartphone. Infineon’s new NAC1080 chip enables a smart lock to harvest all the energy it needs to unlock via NFC wireless power transfer. This is not a new use of the technology, iLoq released its first NFC powered locks in 2016, but the special thing about Infineon’s NAC1080 chip is that it is an all-in-one solution, allowing any smart lock maker to include NFC harvesting capabilities in their products.
Smart locks are an interesting, niche use case for NFC wireless power transfer. Due to the earlier release and current dominance of tightly coupled inductive wireless power solutions, these are the kinds of specific application requirements NFC wireless power transfer will fill. It is likely that NFC will mainly be seen in these types of applications, along with brand new applications that are otherwise inaccessible to wireless power, thanks to the extremely small size of the receiver chips. SAR Insight & Consulting has forecast the NFC wireless charging market in its Wireless Power and Charging Technologies service.