WiSA Association Opens ATC in Sunnyvale, CA

By Jim Venable, President, WiSA Association

The WiSA Association reached yet another milestone this week with the opening of our first authorized test center (ATC). We are partnering with Simplay Labs of Sunnyvale California to provide the testing services for our membership.  Simplay® Labs has been the ATC for both the HDMI and MHL technologies for the last several years and they have the know-how, experience, and equipment to efficiently perform certification testing for all WiSA-enabled products. 

Some people have asked why this testing is necessary.  Good question. When other connectivity technologies came to market, there were issues with products coming from different companies working together.  Frankly, a lot of them just didn’t, even though they were designed and built according to the same technology specification. You can imagine the headaches that caused.  When we formed the WiSA Association we learned from the headaches of others to build in compliance testing right from the beginning.  We knew it was paramount for WiSA-enabled wireless surround sound products working right out of the box with other WiSA-enabled products. The most important factor in our members’ overall success will be instilling confidence in the consumer, so that when the consumer sees the WiSA logo on a product and they take it home, plug it in, and turn it on, it will work flawlessly. 

To pass the compliance test, a member will send to the ATC a production sample of their product that they intend to take to market.  The lab technicians will then take the product through the testing procedure according to the Compliance Test Specification (CTS) which the member would have downloaded during their product specification stage enabling them to see how the devices will be tested.  This is important because the Association wants everyone to pass the compliance test and having the CTS ahead of time will allow them to take the testing procedure into account when they develop their product specification and avoid any design issues that would not allow them to pass.  

Something analogous is the Bluetooth Association. All Bluetooth devices which pass their qualification process and display the Bluetooth logo will interoperate with any other Bluetooth qualified device no matter who manufactured it.  Similarly products that pass the WiSA certification process will display the WiSA logos letting the consumer know that it is compliant and will work with other WiSA compliant products.   

We are excited that the first products have started through the testing cycle. These will be the first of many that will pass through the testing facility this year with many more to come in 2014.

But the question at the end of the day is this: would you buy an HD wireless surround sound system if you knew it would deliver cinema quality audio instead of, say, a wired soundbar?