Students at the US university are using NFC-enabled mobile phones to gain access to dorms, academic buildings and administrative offices.
The new AptiQ NFC platform enables access control credentials to be sent over the air to NFC phones, allowing people to use their phones to enter buildings in place of physical keys or contactless ID badges. The platform is compatible with all the company's existing 13.56MHz AD-series locks and XceedID smart card readers.
"To turn these smartphones into an access control credential, you simply download the AptiQmobile app to your smart phone and use it to retrieve your secure mobile key that was set up by your access control site administrator," explains the company's Jeremy Earles. "Once your mobile key is downloaded, open the app and tap it to the reader just like using a smart card. It's very secure and extremely easy to use."
The pilot at Villanova University is being run by Ingersoll Rand in conjunction with student services provider Cbord. A video showing how the students are using their mobile phones to gain access to dormitories, academic buildings and administrative offices, as well as how the mobile credentials are issued to the students, has been produced by the partners:
"Today's students are so technologically advanced that it is second nature for them to put everything on their phones and, most of the time, it's already in their hands while walking across campus," says Kathy Gallagher, Villanova's director of card services. "We want to provide our students the utmost in convenience and flexibility through the technology we offer. It's easier for students to use an app on their phone versus digging for their card."
"Assigning the credential to the students' phone takes less work than printing and delivering a badge and, since students are very protective of their phones, this should lead to a greatly reduced replacement rate," adds John Bonass, Villanova's systems manager. "If a phone is lost or broken, a new ID can be reissued to the new phone without even having the students come to our office."