For many years we’ve been talking about digital convergence and NFC is one of the prime candidates for multi-application devices and cross-industry collaboration. One example is the ability to get banks and telecom operators working together to power moblile payment services. Moving forward, another application area will be access control. In such schemes the role of an independent Trusted Service Manager is vital both as an intermediary and also to provision the service (i.e. getting the access control app on to the correct employees phone).
Mark Diodati of Gartner published a post recently about a pilot at Arizona State University where a group of students used their smartphones to access facilities at the college. To prove the convergence Mark comes from an IT and not a Telecoms background and while he thinks that physical access control will not be mainstream until 2015 (when Gartner predict 50% of all phones will be NFC-enabled) he does see the benefits of being to download the relevant access control solution from multiple vendors to a unique device. Interestingly, this scheme can then be extended to IT network access.
The clip below shows how the phone can replace your key or employee ID card.
You can see the full video with all of the use cases here.