BlackBerry RIM helping businesses use NFC-enabled phones as building security passes.

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 | Leave a Comment

RIM Blackberry NFC

RIM Blackberry NFC

RIM wants highly dependent on your phone , so when you go where you still need and use your mobile phone.  Research in Motion recently revealed it’s focusing on helping businesses use NFC-enabled phones as building security passes.Near field communication (NFC) is poised to transition from a niche technology to one that makes a difference in retail, advertising and, soon, business.

In an interview with ElectricPig, RIM UK Managing Director Stephen Bates explained that there are a number of areas where this communication technology could be useful, “One is mobile payments, one is pairing, Bluetooth pairing , another one is reading smart posters and the other one is integrating security pass, so building pass access…so the concept that instead of having a pass for your office you can touch and go.”

Like the cards you currently use to check into work (or open that locked front door) NFC works with receivers and transponders that can communicate, but only if the two parts are within a few centimeters of each other. However, placing that communication within a phone has some other, added benefits. The phone is a communication device, so it can receive clearance updates on the fly. For instance, if you’re locked out of Building B because you do not have access, an email to the security administrator could push an update to your phone, which would then update the NFC chip’s clearance information. In a matter of moments, you go from locked out, to checking in.

There’s also the added benefit of one less card to carry or, as is often the case, forget. People rarely forget their phones. There are other ways in which NFC-enabled phones could change our work and business lives. Imagine, for instance if your railroad let you use it as a ticket. The conductor passes his receiver by your phone and gets a message that you have an up-to-date ticket. Phones could be loaded up with subway passes; pass the phone by a kiosk that loads it with virtual tokens and handles the credit-card payment at the same time.

NFC, though, does not exactly enjoy smartphone ubiquity. As of now, it’s mostly Google (with its Nexus Phones), RIM and Nokia that are rolling out NFC-ready devices (Including the just-announced BlackBerry Bold 9790 and Curve 938). That will change, though, as more credit card companies push for NFC-driven mobile wallets systems and companies like TagStand continue to sell NFC tags that can be programmed and placed anywhere.

Focusing on business could also help RIM, which — with slipping market share, lackluster PlayBook tablet sales and a recent, extended outage — has not had the best year. RIM made its bones in business and a return to providing smart solutions for the briefcase set could be a step in the right direction.

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