Mobile Access System IMAporter Launches

Czech Republic-based Institute of Microelectronic Applications (IMA) has announced the commercial launch of a new Mobile Access System, called IMAporter. The system allows users to enter doors using a Bluetooth and/or Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phone.

NFC allows smartphones and other devices to establish radio communication with each other when they are held in close proximity or tapped together.

Based on a well-known NFCporter reader, the IMAporter adds Bluetooth for over-distance user identification. Using the technology, a company could eliminate the need for ID badges, allowing employees to use iOS or Android mobile devices to gain access to buildings. The company claims the tech is backwards-compatible with any system that a company is already using.

In addition to working into already existing integrated systems, the tech could also work in stand-alone mode, functioning as a house key or garage door opener.

Radio Field Identification (RFID), once a tech used for tracking cattle, has slowly infiltrated commerce almost without being seen. The tech is currently used in conjunction with NFC, which can read passive RFID chips at a close proximity.

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Of course, as with any new tech, there are security concerns. For example, a pair of hackers recently showed off a device that can be installed in door readers in under a minute that can clone ID cards.

Despite these concerns, companies are starting to unpack the capabilities of phone ID systems, and new possibilities are starting to emerge. Last week, automotive supplier WITTE Automotive and partner Tapkey announced the development of an NFC-based system that can turns smartphones into car keys, without a requirement for Internet access.

With tech like that, a company like Zipcar could just send users a key-ID through an app, or a fleet manager could assign cars to individuals digitally.

The new tech points to a near future in which smartphones are increasingly integrated into consumers' lives.

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