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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NFC Forum boosts interoperability, quality, differentiation, metrics

Following its mission to advance the use of near field communication (NFC) by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability and educating the market, the NFC Forum just added an NFC tag and reader certification to its global Certification Program. This addition means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers will now be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all key components in the NFC ecosystem.

This program is designed for companies who put a premium on customer experience and want to ensure that their NFC-enabled devices function the way they want when they want, the NFC Forum stated, adding that the top four reasons to certify with this program are interoperability, quality assurance, product differentiation and useful metrics.

"We are excited about the next wave of product innovation this program will usher in," the Forum said. "Certification will help ensure that NFC tags, readers and handsets provide consistent, compelling and connected user experiences."

Faster, less costly implementations

The program is designed to shorten the adoption process, lower adoption costs and simplify product implementations. "NFC Forum Certification demonstrates to customers, consumers and partners that a company values product quality and improving the customer experience," said Paula Hunter, NFC Forum Executive Director. "Certification also helps ensure a product embedded with NFC can work with the 36 billion IoT devices predicted to be in use by 2020 by creating a simple, easy way for businesses and consumers to be connected."

Dr. Joerg Schmidt, Business Development Manager for NFC, Transportation and Standardization, at Infineon, added, "The NFC Forum Certification Program will help organizations to innovate and create products that offer consistent, compelling and connected user experiences across the entire NFC ecosystem of handsets, readers and tags. The certification program will drive industry-wide interoperability with other devices ensuring that products do what customers want, when they want it."

Six steps to certify

Certification involves six steps, as follows:

  1. Join: Become a member of the NFC Forum to enjoy membership benefits and start the Certification process, if your organization is not already a member.
  2. Prepare: Familiarize yourself with the NFC Forum Certification Policy and Device Requirements.
  3. Test: Determine which Authorized Test Lab meets your test your product(s) testing needs and schedule your testing.
  4. Report: Once testing at an Authorized Test Lab is complete, pay certification fees and agree to the NFC Forum Terms and Conditions during checkout.
  5. Apply: Assemble the package of all required certification documents, create an account, and submit your documentation online to the NFC Forum.
  6. Promote: Once certified, it's recommended that you add the Certification Mark to your site, product (if appropriate), packaging and collateral (according to the NFC Forum Certification Mark Guidelines). The mark may be used upon acceptance of the NFC Forum Certification Mark License Agreement and a one-time fee per registered organization. Also, be sure to share your product certification news with your customers.

"Worldwide, a growing number of touchpoints based on NFC tags enrich the daily life of consumers," stated Dr. Michael Jahnich, Director Contactless Test Solutions at Comprion. "Compliance of NFC tags is essential to ensure the highest level of interoperability of tags, smartphones, and readers, and to offer a satisfying user experience. The NFC Forum Tag Certification Program establishes tag compliance and helps tag vendors and solution providers to deliver consistent, global connectivity across all applications and environments."

For an overview of the program, visit nfc-forum.org/certification-program-overview/. end of article

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