The Bluetooth Special Interest Group and Near Field Communication Forum have signed an agreement to work together for greater interoperability between the technologies they support.

NFC and Bluetooth are complementary technologies. While NFC connections from a smart phone to an NFC-enabled terminal must be less than an inch, Bluetooth connections can work over a distance of 30 feet. However, device manufacturers can now use NFC with Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing to support handover of signals between Bluetooth devices such as mobile phones, health devices, automobile gadgets and TVs.

The Bluetooth SIG and NFC Forum pledged on Tuesday to update and maintain a guideline they developed for develops last year titled the Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC.

The two groups recognize emerging technology in Bluetooth 4.0 and may also engage in joint interoperability testing events involving NFC and Bluetooth technologies.

There are about 400 million NFC-ready devices and the number is expected to grow to one billion by 2016, according to Paula Hunter, NFC Forum director general.

The more than 200,000 member companies of Bluetooth SIG shipped some three million Bluetooth devices around the world this year and that number is expected to reach eight billion by 2016, said Chuck Sabin, director of product management at Bluetooth SIG.

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