"Alternative" Near Field Communication-enabled devices such as watches, tags and tokens-in short, devices that are not mobile phones-are technically feasible but often lack strong business cases, according to a recent paper from The Human Chain Ltd., a British consultancy.

Its report "Alternative NFC Form Factors" contends some nonphone devices capable of NFC contactless payment and downloads "may become niche solutions within certain specialized sectors." The report adds that "as with all consumer electronics, critical mass is key, and it seems that none of these [devices] will gain this in a realistic time frame."

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