Approximately 30 percent of mobile developers today are supporting near field communications  in their mobile apps, but an additional 45 percent plan to support this technology in the next 12 months, according to Evans Data Corp.'s newly released Mobile Development Survey.

NFC is a set of standards to establish communication for mobile devices in close proximity to enabled objects.

The survey, conducted by the research firm in May 2013 with more than 500 developers actively working on mobile apps, found that more developers have plans to support NFC in the near future than any of several other device features, including voice recognition, range finder and device pairing.

The main driver for NFC support is security and access. Other popular drivers are social networking, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and commerce.

"NFC is the next evolutionary step in mobile computing," Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, said in a statement. "It's clear that it's going to change the way we perform everyday actions such as opening a locked door, getting on an airplane, or making a purchase at a store. But developers also have plans for the technology that include games, measurements, and connections to appliances, cars or other devices. The extent to which NFC will impact us is only constrained by the imagination of the developers."

Although NFC was the technology that most developers plan to support in the next year, still image capture, video image capture and GPS are the device features more developers are supporting today, the study shows. Device features are extremely important in determining how many will target their apps for a particular device. More than 70 percent say they optimize their apps to take advantage of particular device capabilities.

The Mobile Development Survey is conducted worldwide twice a year with developers actively working on apps for mobile devices.

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