The NFC Forum formally unveiled its new Certification Program designed to give device manufacturers a means of establishing their products’ compliance with the NFC Forum’s technical specifications.
Under the program, companies submit their devices to an authorized NFC Forum test laboratory for conformance testing using NFC Forum-validated test tools. The results are submitted to the independent, neutral third-party certification administrator for validation and approval. The program includes a problem and issue resolution process, and the anonymity of all submissions is assured, says the NFC Forum.
In addition to the Certification Program, the NFC Forum supports “PlugFest” events held throughout the year, at which NFC solutions providers can test the interoperability of their products with other NFC products.
The NFC Forum will launch the new program in waves as the organization’s specifications evolve. The first wave includes testing for the lower-level digital protocols, specifically the Tag Operation specifications for the different tag types, the NFC Digital Protocol Specification, and the NFC Activity Specification. The second Certification wave, scheduled to launch in 2012, adds testing for the physical layer and selected upper-level digital protocols, including RF analog and peer-to-peer.
Only companies whose products pass certification testing will be able to display the N-Mark – the universal symbol for NFC – on their devices. The N-Mark tells consumers where to touch to initiate NFC services on a device or where to touch a poster, sign, badge, or label to trigger NFC services.
Additionally, companies with certified devices may display the NFC Forum Certification Mark on their websites, manuals, marketing and packaging materials to denote compliance and add credibility to their product. Companies also have the option to list their certified products on the NFC Forum website.
The Open Group, a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, will serve as the certification partner for the NFC Forum Certification Program. Additional NFC Forum Certification Program partners include test tool providers AT4 wireless and Clear2Pay, as well as test tool validation house Applus+.