The NFC Forum has introduced a product certification program that improves the user experience for NFC device owners by enabling manufacturers of smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices to prove that their products fully conform to a wide range of contactless transport, payments and access control standards.
The CR12 product certification program allows manufacturers to test and verify the performance of all key components of the NFC ecosystem, and is based on contactless standards developed “to eliminate differences in the standards and improve the end user experience”.
“Smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices that conform to CR12 can support the wide variety of NFC implementations while also improving the user experience in use cases such as, but not limited to, public transport, contactless payment, access control, automotive, proof of ID and eDriver’s licences,” the NFC Forum says.
The launch means that “the contactless experience for billions of people just got better,” Mike McCamon, executive director of the NFC Forum, explains. “Before CR12, many NFC implementations were using slightly different variations of one or more core technology standards.
“This created many challenges for technology suppliers and manufacturers to create truly seamless interoperable products and services. The primary benefit to users will be that CR12-certified mobile phones and other devices can seamlessly work in all contactless applications that use the new harmonised technical standards.”
“In the history of contactless technologies, several core standards were developed and applied in various use cases,” Henk Dannenberg, chair of the NFC Forum Compliance Committee, adds.
“Over time, the applications in the various use cases resulted in different varieties of the core standards being implemented. This was hampering the user experience for the users of an NFC-enabled smartphone.
“The release of CR12 enables smartphone manufacturers and suppliers of other devices using contactless technologies to prove conformance to the new NFC Forum technical standards that are now harmonised with other contactless standards in the industry.
“NFC-enabled smartphones that conform to the new technical standard can work with all NFC consumer applications.
“For the first time, technology suppliers and manufacturers can certify their products with contactless services with the certification program of an industry-independent standardisation body. This will lead to improved interoperability and a better user experience.”
To gain certification through the CR12 program, manufacturers can submit devices to an authorised test lab for a certification test that’s carried out using procedures defined by the NFC Forum.