Seos rides NFC wave at Mobile World Congress


NFC (near-field communication) was one of the hottest topics at this year’s GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, and the Seos ecosystem from ASSA ABLOY was a star NFC attraction.

One of the eight companies invited to be part of the NFC Experience at MWC 2013, ASSA ABLOY had a selection of Seos-enabled door-opening systems on display. And plenty of mobile operators from around the world made their way to the ASSA ABLOY stand. “They have been tracking us down because they want to see Seos in action,” says Gustaf Broman, director of product marketing for mobile access at ASSA ABLOY.

Seos is an ecosystem of products and services for issuing, delivering and revoking digital keys to NFC-enabled devices. These digital keys can be used to open doors in every sort of environment: homes, offices, hotels, industrial and commercial buildings, schools and hospitals.

To ASSA ABLOY, mobile operators are an integral part of the system, and the company has been collaborating with numerous operators from around the world during the development of Seos, one of the reasons for the GSMA invitation. The Seos Trusted Service Manager at the heart of the system can be completely integrated into an operator’s network, allowing it to send and revoke digital keys to subscribers’ phones. The Seos app works with any standard SIM card.

“Another major reason for the invitation is the breadth of our offering, covering every sort of door-opening system for every environment,” Broman says. “It is important to provide a consistent user experience, whether you are opening a door to your car, at home, in the office or in a hotel.”

With a single app in his NFC-enabled phone, Broman demonstrates how different credentials open all the different locks and readers on display – from ASSA ABLOY, Yale, HID and VingCard Elsafe – just by bringing the phone to the reader.

“You don’t want to have to unlock the phone and start the application every time you want to open a door. Through card emulation, Seos works just by bringing the phone into contact with the reader, even if the battery is flat.”

This was a breakthrough year for NFC at MWC, with dozens of exhibitors featuring the technology. And Seos played an important part. GSMA event staff all received digital keys sent to their phones, keys for their hotel rooms and important conference facilities.

“Hotel Santos Porta Fira, right outside the event venue, was equipped with Seos locks from VingCard,” Broman explains. “And in the Connected City exhibition, the conference rooms have Aperio cylinders. So the GSMA staff were sent their hotel room keys and the conference room keys completely digitally – a real Seos experience.”