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NFC ID badges to arrive on BlackBerry phones

BlackBerry NFC phone users are set to be the first to use their mobile instead of their work ID badge to access buildings and other physical and online facilities, RIM and ID card giant HID Global have revealed.

BlackBerry and HID Global
NFC: HID and RIM are moving the iClass smartcard into the phone

HID Global has announced it is to make its iClass digital keys and mobile secure identity technology available on NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

The move will see the new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 smartphones being made compatible with HID Global’s iClass digital credentials so that the phones can be used to access locations secured by HID’s existing network of iClass readers.

Instead of using keys or smartcards, BlackBerry smartphone users will then be able to use iClass digital credentials that can be presented for authentication by simply holding their NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone in front of a reader, just like they do today with a physical iClass smartcard. iClass readers are used in a wide range of applications including physical access systems in buildings, student ID systems and time and attendance tracking systems.

“NFC technology will enable many new and exciting capabilities for BlackBerry smartphones and we are very pleased to be working with HID Global to be the first to bring a host of secure identity and mobile access control capabilities to NFC-enabled smartphones,” says Andrew Bocking, vice president of handheld software product management at RIM.

“This industry first is an important milestone in the deployment of mobile access and identity solutions using NFC technology on smartphones,” added Dr Tam Hulusi, senior vice president of strategic innovation with HID Global. “We will continue to innovate in the delivery of secure identity, as NFC-enabled smartphones represent a complementary new platform that we believe will expand the access control market and our online card services business while improving user security and convenience.”

HID Global will be previewing iClass digital keys and mobile identity credentials using the NFC functionality in the BlackBerry Bold 9900 at the ASIS International 2011 security conference next week.

Pilots using BlackBerry smartphones carrying with iClass digital credentials will be conducted this year and HID Global expects that its embedded iClass technology will be generally available for the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 NFC smartphones in early 2012.

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