Near-Field Communication is different from other wireless technologies, yet it's complex and requires production testing.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will soon become a mission-critical enabling technology in the devices and services we use on a daily basis. NFC has already proliferated into public transit systems, letting millions of travelers rapidly gain access to subways, buses, ferries, and planes.

It's being adopted to help authorize billions of dollars in financial transactions in ways that provide far greater levels of security than conventional credit cards. It's also being deployed to simplify how we enable our wireless devices to connect and interact with each other through simplified pairing techniques (sometimes referred to as "bootstrapping"). It will offer new means to streamline and protect our healthcare services through improved identity methods for patients and medications. And NFC offers new ways for advertisers to reach consumers though "smart posters" and tagged consumer items.

NFC capabilities can be found in literally hundreds of millions of smartphones, but you may be surprised to know that the method employed to test the NFC functionality in these devices is very primitive, relative to how other wireless technologies in smart devices are tested. Because the practical applications for NFC-enabled smart devices is only now beginning to take root, it will be critical to ensure the necessary NFC performance to guarantee a high-quality, consistent, and reliable user experience. While only about 30% of smartphones employed NFC technology in 2013, that number is expected to grow to 70% by 2018 -- in other words, well over 1 billion NFC-enabled smart devices.

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