Interoperability used to refer simply to M2M – two machines communicating to each other. The advent of easy internet access and the Internet of Things (IoT) has rocketed interoperability into a whole new dimension. Now, just about anything can be connected – cars, sensors, wearables, appliances, meters, so that people sometimes refer to it as the Internet of Everything.
Like many rapid advances, the technology behind them seems to work like magic. It functions so seamlessly, most people don’t give it a second thought, until it stops working. Manufacturers don’t want their products to lose the magic, so to speak, and are keen to find ways to ensure products earn a reputation for high-performance interoperability.
Problems arise frequently because with so many different kinds of products and industries featuring interoperability, connectivity occurs over a range of different technologies, protocols and dynamic systems. Assuring interoperability requires an expert that can cover all the bases.
UL’s Interop team has created a series of testing programs which know how to put a product through its paces, not matter what the device or technology. Tests recreate real-world scenarios, so manufacturers can see exactly at what point their product fails to connect. Manufacturers then take test findings and feedback from UL experts to fine-tune products into top performers.
By testing beforehand, manufacturers don’t run the risk of finding out a product’s interoperability performance is not up to par via poor customer reviews or recalls.
UL has also just opened a testing lab dedicated to the functionality of high-tech products. The IoT SSL Lab in Dongguan, China will provide advanced performance testing and innovative safety solutions to all IoT related industries covering the whole range of technologies from compatibility to EMC and wireless testing to cybersecurity.