Opening doors the mobile way

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Forgetting your keys or being locked out of your home or office may become a thing of the past. HID Global is working on ways to put everything you need to open doors on your mobile phone.

ASSA ABLOY has long been known as a leader in locking technology, an area known as physical access. Through HID Global, it is pushing into the area of mobile access – a way to open doors without using an actual key using Near Field Communications (NFC) along with HID Global’s Secure Identity Model, or to allow people log on to their PCs through their phones.

Mobile access is advancing rapidly, says Selva Selvaratnam, chief technology officer for HID Global. But so far it tends to stop after you get through the front door of a building. The next step is to use the device to open your office door – or the door to your house.

“To use it at home so you don’t use a key anymore is very exciting,” Selva Selvaratnam says. “The combination of the technologies that HID has and ASSA ABLOY’s outstanding position in the mechanical locking market puts us in a very unique position.”

Imagine what it would be like to use your mobile phone instead of a key to open your front door at home. “You can choose to issue an electronic key to your wife’s phone, your daughter’s phone, your son’s phone,” Selva says.

“If the phone is lost, you can revoke it,” he says. “You might lose your key or your wallet and not realize it for 24 hours, but you will notice within half an hour if your phone is missing. Most people might leave their home without their wallet, but they won’t leave without their phone these days. Or say the cleaner has turned up and you haven’t given them a key – you can send them a key over the air.”

In the United States, HID Global recently completed a pilot program at Arizona State University using smartphones to open doors. A group of 25 students and five staff members were supplied with phones – an Apple iPhone 4, a Samsung Android or a BlackBerry Bold – that could unlock doors on campus. Read more about this here.