Near-field communications technology is expected to see rapid growth in the near future, and Apple made a big splash last year with its NFC-enabled Apple Pay feature for mobile payments. And Google has its Google Wallet option for NFC-enabled Android smartphones. Rumors abound that Samsung is likely to include its own mobile payment option in the next iteration of the Galaxy smartphone, expected to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress – although NDTV reports there are conflicting rumors on whether that mobile payment option would be NFC-based or use a different technology.
One of test company LitePoint’s areas of speciality is NFC testing; at last year’s MWC, the company launched what it says was the first system for large-scale testing of NFC in manufacturing environments. Curt Schmidek, VP of marketing for LitePoint, spoke with RCR Wireless News about six key components for NFC testing.
“There are literally, probably 100 things that can go wrong with NFC in a production environment,” Schmidek said, adding that this is also true for other wireless technologies. Manufacturers want to keep NFC testing times to a minimum while still ensuring that the technology works well.
Schmidek shared the half-dozen aspects of NFC testing that lead to efficient and effective testing, including:
- Testing the resonant frequency to make sure that the devices on both sides of the two-way NFC connection, the initiator and the target, are broadcasting on the same frequency;
- Ensuring that field strength is sufficient to energize a passive device as needed;
- Testing receiver sensitivity to be sure the receiver can pick up transmissions accurately;
- Checking the quality of the signal transmission;
- Transaction time is key in NFC, to ensure that it works quickly enough for rapid interactions; and
- An overall functional test to check the system as a whole.
Get more details in the video conversation with Schmidek and RCR’s Kelly Hill:
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