The system requires a number of pieces to work properly, but the result will let some smartphone users tap their BlackBerry to a scanner rather than flash their baby blues to gain entry to secure facilities and restricted areas.
To start, the set-up requires a Blackberry Bold 9900/9930 smartphone. This device has both the BlackBerry 7 platform and near-field communications hardware needed to function properly. The Blackberry will be used to store the iris template of the owner. The template is secured on the device by HID Global's iCLASS digital credentials.
Together, this NFC-equipped BlackBerry and secure iris ID file will be compatible with existing iCLASS readers that are embedded in the iCAM 7000 series. Rather than supplying an eyeball or a separate NFC-card with the iris template on board, BlackBerry owners can use their smartphone to serve as their work or government ID. It can be used to grant physical access to systems in buildings, as well as with applications that track time, attendance, and other actions that depend on identity.
"Having added NFC capabilities to a range of our BlackBerry 7 smartphones, we're excited to be able to support the secure storage of an Iris ID biometric template to an iCLASS credential, said Andrew Bocking, VP of handheld software product management at RIM. The company has been quicker than most to adopt NFC technology in its smartphones.
"NFC enables smartphones to become even smarter mobile computing platforms, and this is another great example that demonstrates the potential that NFC on mobile devices brings to the physical access control space," said Bocking.
Providing employee with an easy way to authenticate their identity by using a device they're already carrying is certainly convenient. It means there is one less thing to worry about grabbing on the way out the door first thing in the morning.
RIM, HID Global, and Iris ID Systems will trial the technology in the coming months, and expect to deploy the system later this year.
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