Research In Motion collaborating with Assa Abloy on key-card technology for NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphones

By Michelle Haag on 9 Nov 2011 01:48 pm EST
BlackBerry NFC key-card
There is a lot of buzz lately about NFC in BlackBerry smartphones, and what it can do (which right now, isn't anything really) and the potential for what it could do in the future. Assa Abloy announced Tuesday that they are collaborating with Research In Motion on including key-card technology in NFC enabled BlackBerry devices such as the Bold 9900.

Assa Abloy is the world's top lock group as well as a leader in mobile key technology, with buildings around the world already using their HID iClass system. Combining the NFC capabilities with key-card technology would enable users to replace access cards in their office as well as possibly work with home security, hotels, time reports, payments, and more in the future. This is the first venture into putting their technology into mobile phones for Assa Abloy, and while the agreement isn't exclusively tied to RIM, they haven't made deals with any other platform at this time.

Source: AP
Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1214 (articles) 1695 (forum posts)

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Research In Motion collaborating with Assa Abloy on key-card technology for NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphones


Interesting! When I was stating at a Radisson in Southern California recently, the hotel used NFC locks made by Assa Abloy. The NFC cards that they used were definitely compatible with my BlackBerry 9930 -- I proved this using the key cards with the NFCLauncher application (FonWare Ltd,

CrackBerry Store:

App World:

BTW, the picture is misleading -- the back the the BlackBerry should be held toward the NFC sensor as the NFC antenna (extremely short range) is in the battery cover of the device.

Yeahhh sorry, just whipped that up in Photoshop, wasn't meant to be terribly accurate, but I'm sure people get the idea of Blackberry + door lock :)

BTW, your comment is misleading. You make the improper assumption that people actually care about the proper placement of the BlackBerry in this Photoshopped image.

This is cool. In a better world, I'd be able to use my DL picture on my phone, make payments with my phone and open doors with my phone (I would also add a number combination and e-mail to the user each time the door was opened with the users device). Looking forward to the future.

BTW, you can do pretty awesome stuff with NFC on your Bold right now. I got hooked on NFC Launcher and SCM.

I got NFC tags in my car, at my desk, at home and in my holster.

Everything is automatic. Wifi, Btooth, Drivesafely on/off, e-mail wife that I'm leaving work. Yeah, it is faster but also cool is that I don't forget to do it.

I can't help but wonder a few things about NFC. Most notably, whether or not models like the 9860 and others will be able to acquire the ability to use NFC through an OS update, the same way that the 9930 recently acquired it.

Also, while the battery door cover contains the tech to activate/read NFC, shouldn't this be something that can be accessorized if indeed NFC is OS-based?

Can the CrackBerry crew elaborate on this for me?

The devices need hardware enabled for it to work, it's not just an OS thing. It was only an OS thing on those devices because they have the hardware enabled but it was removed from the software.

Sure, the possibility is there if accessory folks wish to invest in NFC accessories. Fact is, no one really has any clue what they are doing with NFC.. sounds cool on paper, reality is proving they still don't know how to make widescale use of it.

Thanks Bla1ze. I just remember there being a lot of talk about the 9860 having NFC prior to launch. Maybe the chipset is in there and it's just a matter of time. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. Either way, the 9860 is my phone until the first BBX phone is released next year.

This is cool. I can see this being in the Assa Abloy catalog for door locks.

I see hotels getting into this as they look for new ways to impress customers. Building managers would love it. Rescue personnel and Police would carry BB phones with codes to open doors.

What about elevators? What if you schedule an appointment for the nth floor in a building and you step into the elevator and you go to the right floor? They could put signs in buildings "BB zone".

To elaborate on your idea, how about if when you arrive at your destination for your appointment, using NFC with your phone serves as a virtual "check-in," and not only that, it automatically interfaces with Wikitude to provide a walking map on your phone's display through Augmented Reality? (Think of way-points like you'd see in a video game, like Dead Space.)

Definitely would take a ridiculous number of businesses and companies to sign onto the idea, but the sheer awesomeness/sci-fi geekery would be too much to contain!

It would appear as if Rim is taking the steps needed in order to make those enterprising minds videos a reality. Lets go Rim and hopefully lets get this done at a scheduled date. And nexts lets get PB 2.0 out the door and at least a demo unit of a Qnx device