NFC-enabled BlackBerry Bold and Curve first smartphones with iCLASS functionality


As a result of close cooperation between Research In Motion (RIM) and HID Global, the new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Curve with Near Field Communications (NFC) capabilities will become the first smartphones with iCLASS functionality for digital keys and identification.

HID Global, trusted leader in solutions for the delivery of secure identity, is proud to have achieved an industry first in the form of plans to support the company’s iCLASS digital keys and mobile secure identity on NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones, for a complete electronic locking solution and secure access to buildings, offices and networks. The new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 smartphones, activated with iCLASS digital credentials,  will be compatible with the large installed base of iCLASS readers that are used for applications ranging from physical access systems in buildings, to student IDs, to applications that track time and attendance.

HID Global will be previewing iCLASS digital keys and mobile identity credentials using the NFC capabilities of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone at booth number 2400 at the ASIS International 2011 security conference to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from September 19-22. In addition, representatives from HID Global and BlackBerry-maker RIM will be speaking about this new platform at ASIS.

“This industry first is an important milestone in the deployment of mobile access and identity solutions using NFC technology on smartphones,” said Dr. Tam Hulusi, senior vice president of strategic innovation with HID Global. “We will continue to innovate in the delivery of secure identity, as NFC-enabled smartphones represent a complementary new platform that we believe will expand the access control market and our online card services business while improving user security and convenience.”

Instead of using keys or smartcards, BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to use iCLASS digital credentials that can be presented for authentication by simply holding their NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone in front of a reader, just like they do today with a physical iCLASS smartcard.

“NFC technology will enable many new and exciting capabilities for BlackBerry smartphones and we are very pleased to be working with HID Global to be the first to bring a host of secure identity and mobile access control capabilities to NFC-enabled smartphones,” said Andrew Bocking, vice president, Handheld Software Product Management at RIM.

Trials using BlackBerry smartphones activated with iCLASS digital credentials will be conducted this year. HID Global expects that its embedded iCLASS technology will be generally available for the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 smartphones in early 2012.