App lets NFC BlackBerrys open electronic locks
Now you can lose phone, wallet and keys in one go
HID Global, makers of electronic locks for everything from server keyboards to student halls, has created an app that allows NFC-equipped BlackBerrys to be used instead of ID cards.
The application will launch next year, but only runs on RIM's Bold 9900/9930 and Curve 9350/9360 handsets, as they have the necessary NFC hardware. The app uses same cryptography as the iClass cards already deployed, and works with the same locks. Given that quite a few of those locks are already deployed, that means many companies could very quickly replace their plastic key cards with remotely-manageable BlackBerry applications.
Being able to remotely manage a key is obviously useful where the locks themselves aren't networked, but it should make the keys harder to lose and will also discourage employees lending keys to each other – for better or worse.
Electronic keys is one of the applications of NFC which really hasn't been much explored yet. Last week Yale announced it would be retailing an NFC-based lock for early adopters, but its ability to work with existing infrastructure makes the app from HID Global much more interesting, even if it does provide one more way for the BOFH to screw up your day. ®
Lose your phone...
...and you lose your communications method, your contacts list, your wallet and your house keys all in one go.
Hmmm.... I don't think I'll be taking them up on this.
Is that wise?
Picking a point possibly out of thin air here, but wouldn't that app be rather easy to redefine and have it cycle through possible codes and thus become a well-hidden, portable lock hack?
You know, like in films, where they run up to the door and the digits fly and *click* it opens.
Except now, Bond will run up to the door, hold up his Blackberry™...
two elements of security
Cool, you could add the "something you have AND something you know" paradigm to opening a door by giving the app a mandatory password input when you open the door.
Well maybe not so cool for those people who come home staggering drunk...