Air France recently began a six-month trial for their new “Touch and Pass” app to board flights, which requires NFC, or near field communication technology. NFC has been around for a while but has sometimes struggled to find its place in smartphones and other technologies. NFC is based on radio-frequency identification, or RFID, for close proximity communication between devices such as smartphones or passcards. (RFID is used for systems such as EZ-Pass on turnpikes or tollroads.) Smartphone usage of NFC has not been overly prevalent in the past decade but almost all newer smartphones are built now with NFC capability. Because of this, initiatives such as Air France’s Touch and Pass app may prove that NFC for smartphones and other uses could be a new technology investment that proves fruitful for small cap stock companies.
Santa Ana-based Identiv Inc (Nasdaq:INVE) is a company that uses both NFC and RFID to provide security for entering facilities and using the technology systems of companies, schools, etc. Some of the many services they provide include access control, cyber security, identity management and contactless ticketing. INVE has been active in its sector, hosting last month the uTrust TS Readers Online Workshop Series for end users and system integrators, teaching practical information about security issues and technology solutions. INVE closed June 6 of last year at $0.80 with a market cap of $47.65 million. INVE closed July 7th at $10.88, down $0.08, with a market cap of $86.94 million. Its 52-week trading range is $4.86 – $13.00.
California-based FormFactor (Nasdaq: FORM) works with Integrated Circuits (ICs) using wafer test technologies, and is the world’s leading supplier of probe cards to manufacturers of DRAM, Flash and SoCs (System-on-Chip). A recent press release from the company revealed that FormFactor has been ranked as one of the top worldwide suppliers of Semiconductor Probe Cards by VLSIresearch. According to CEO Tom St. Dennis, “The worldwide FormFactor team is proud of our strong showing in VLSIresearch’s survey. As customers navigate formidable technology transitions, our advanced MEMS technology and essential test expertise helps lower test costs while enabling these technology transitions.” FORM closed June 6 of last year at $6.20 with a market cap of $327.71 million. FORM closed July 7th at $8.00, down $0.03 for the day, with a market cap of $444.39 million. Its 52-week trading range is $4.99 – $8.50.
With new smartphones now universally adopting NFC technology based on the anticipation that more security, payment, and connecting apps and systems will be using it in the future, any hardware related to this sector is certainly worth looking into. Keep an eye on this sector in upcoming months as it is becoming an increasingly viable and simple solution to the numerous problems with WiFi and 3/4G phone connectivity!