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B.O.S. Better Online Solutions' RFID and Mobile Division receives order for retail self-scanning project ••• Comprion launches NFC testing and troubleshooting system ••• Scania evaluates H&D Wireless RTLS solution for indoor positioning ••• SML sponsors Auburn University RFID Center, joins Board of Advisors ••• MetraLabs, Qopius collaborate on retail vision robot ••• Frost & Sullivan report cites high-revenue RF test and measurement areas.
By Rich Handley

Comprion Launches NFC Testing and Troubleshooting System

Comprion, a provider of test solutions, has launched a product line for Near Field Communication (NFC) testing, known as CL Development, at the Embedded World conference, being held this week in Nuremberg, Germany. The system can be used to validate interface design, prepare for certification, perform functional testing or verify interoperability, the company reports.

According to Comprion, the market is being inundated with new NFC technologies and applications, resulting in a large number of NFC devices that have not been tested according to universal standards. Standards often do not cover everything, the company explains, because NFC applications demand conformance to their own specifications. Functioning NFC systems, such as access-control and contactless-payment systems, are extended by use of smartphones, which can cause interoperability issues. When individually tested, NFC modules can be integrated into car door handles, terminals or machines, and the materials used may interfere with sensitive NFC fields.

"Many of these problems could become real showstoppers and cause expensive recalls," said Michael Jahnich, Comprion's development head for NFC test solutions, in a prepared statement. "This can be avoided by testing early in the development phase." The CL Development line has been designed for NFC development testing, he said, and can be used in the following areas:

Pre-conformance testing, for reducing expensive test lab hours: EMVCo- and NFC Forum-compliant test benches can ensure that an NFC device conforms to the specifications and optimally prepares it for certification. This reduces expensive lab times in the test house.

Functional testing, for customized NFC device testing: With the help of APIs, it is possible to write and run customized tests. In this way, MNOs or application developers can ensure that NFC devices comply with their special requirements.

Interoperability testing, for finding error causes: In the event of problems, errors on the contactless interface can be displayed and visualized. Analysis software makes it possible to localize potential error sources, and to resolve the problems in the lab.

Design validation, for optimizing design: The solution can identify the magnetic field in its form and strength, and thus define measures for optimizing the interface—for example, when integrating antennas. Thus, interference factors caused by surrounding materials can be identified and removed.

The CL Development line is a modular system consisting of different hardware and software components, as well as unique antennas and accessories that can be configured to match a particular test case. "You don't pay for software and features that you don't use, but only for those that you actually need," Jahnich said in the prepared statement. "On the other hand, the system can also be extended by adding further components so that you can cover other application areas."

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