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HID Global reports on Silicon Valley NFC access control pilots

A survey of participants in trials conducted at the offices of Netflix and Good Technology has found that more than 80% saw the technology as intuitive and easy to use.

Netflix and Good Technology

TRIALS: NFC keys popular with users

NFC access control pilots conducted by HID Global at two Silicon Valley companies have proved very popular with users of the new technology, the access control specialist reports.

The pilots were conducted at the premises of Netflix and Good Technology and used HID Global’s recently launched iClass Seos NFC platform. Participants were issued with Samsung Galaxy S III NFC phones holding HID Global digital keys that could be used to open doors at selected locations within the two companies’ facilities.

A survey conducted following the trial found that:

  • More than 80% of Netflix respondents felt that the application for unlocking a door was intuitive, and nearly 90% described it as easy to use.
  • This perception was echoed at Good Technology, where more than 80% of respondents felt the smartphone was more convenient to use than their current access card, primarily because they never forget their phones like they do their badges. All Good Technology respondents said they liked the look of the door unlock application on their phones, and said it was intuitive and easy to use.
  • 75% of Netflix respondents said they would be willing to load the app onto their own personal smartphone.
  • 75% of respondents at Netflix and 67% at Good Technology said that other people who saw them using their smartphone to access the building asked questions or expressed an interest in it.
  • More than 83% of Good Technology participants said that the company’s physical security was improved by using a smartphone rather than a card to open locked doors. This included respondents who highlighted the benefits of layered security, and being able to use a PIN to unlock their phone and then use the mobile access app to gain entry.
  • 87% of Netflix respondents said they would want to use a smartphone to open all locked doors at the company.
  • All Good Technology respondents saw value in additional uses of digital keys on their smartphones, such as logging on to their PC and using their smartphones for secure print authentication, as well as personal uses such as using their smartphones to access their residence and as a mobile wallet for payment. All respondents also said they would like to be able to use their NFC-enabled smartphones to receive digital keys over-the-air that could be used to access a hotel room.
  • 81% of Netflix respondents said the fact that the company is testing and deploying mobile access makes it a more fun and exciting place to work.

“The pilots highlighted a number of opportunities to improve the mobile access control experience as the industry moves closer to deployment,” says HID Global. “This includes bringing more mobile network operators and handset manufacturers into the ecosystem so that users have more service and product choices.

“Additionally, participants cited the need for an ‘always on’ access control experience, which requires that NFC handsets be able to open doors without having to start an app, and that their secure elements, either embedded in the phone or in their subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, are made available for over-the-air communications directly with service providers.

“Pilot participants also highlighted the need for solutions that do not excessively drain battery, are available even when the battery is dead, don’t interrupt other tasks, and deliver an intuitive user interface with accurate graphical representations and conveniently sized icons.”

A video has been produced which shows the NFC access control technology in use at Netflix:

A second video shows it in use at Good Technology:

• HID Global will be presenting an NFC World webinar on ‘NFC in Access Control’ on Thursday 25 October. The hour-long webinar is free to attend — find out more and register to attend here. A white paper by HID Global which explains how NFC can be used in access control is also available to download here.

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