Say what you will about RIM, but its BlackBerry NFC plans aren’t lacking for ambition. In an interview with Electricpig this week, Research In Motion’s UK managing director Stephen Bates revealed its four prong plan for the contact free communication tech – and alongside mobile payments, it’s planning to change the way you touch in to work.
NFC (Near field communications) is all the talk of the mobile world right now: it’s popping up in more Android and Symbian phones, but surprisingly, it’s RIM who’s ahead in this field right now, with no fewer than seven NFC enabled handsets launched this year, including this week’s newly announced BlackBerry Curve 9380 and Bold 9790 models.
Contact free payments for small items are one of the most obvious uses for a BlackBerry NFC phone: last month, RIM received certification so that its NFC phones could be used with Mastercard’s touch-free PayPass system. But the company also has a more novel use for it: as your security pass.
“There are three or four areas that we think NFC is important,” Stephen Bates said. “One is mobile payments, one is pairing, Bluetooth pairing [with accessories], 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.”
As well as being one less thing you’d have to carry, it’d be a blessing for your company’s IT and security admins, as Bates points out.
“You can from an IT perspective profile yourself into parts of the building or other parts of the building, or if you travel to another office globally you can get access to that office just over the air as an update to your profile.”
Bates says a trial of this BlackBerry NFC security pass system is already in place at the company’s head office, but stressed that this is something other businesses may be able to take advantage of very soon. “We’re trying to get executions of those coming out next year,” he said.
RIM isn’t alone in this: in September, security giant HID Global revealed that it too was working on a new app for BlackBerry NFC phones that could act as a security pass, with the same cryptography as commonly used iClass cards.
Would you use a BlackBerry NFC phone as your work pass? Is it enough to make you jump ship? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.