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November 08, 2011

Upcoming BlackBerry Models to Use Assa Abloy's NFC Technology
By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor

The Associated Press (News - Alert) reported on Tuesday that Stockholm, Sweden based Assa Abloy AB, the world's leading lock group, is collaborating with Research in Motion to incorporate near field communications (NFC) technology in upcoming BlackBerry (News - Alert) models.

In a statement, Assa Abloy said the technology, known as near field communications, will be incorporated in smartphones so they can replace regular access cards. It said the technology will be included in the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360, which will be launched in early 2012.

According to Associated Press, users will be able to swipe their phones in front of a door's card reader to gain access to a building. For increased security, the phone can be combined with a PIN. Assa Abloy said that its HID iClass system already exists in buildings around the world.

The AP report quoted the head of Assa Abloy's mobile keys division, Daniel Berg, as saying, “The phones will work with existing door-opening systems and will mainly replace access cards at offices, but can also be used to open home or garage doors.” Berg added, “There is also a possibility to develop the NFC technology in the phones so it can be used for time reports and payments.”

In fact, according to the Associated Press, NFC technology already exists in cards that are used for payments or as tickets in subway systems in some countries. According to Berg, “The technology built into the BlackBerry could also work for such applications in the future,” wrote AP reporter Malin Rising.

This deal is a first for the company with respect to mobile phones, wrote Rising. Meanwhile, Berg indicated that the deal with BlackBerry is not exclusive and Assa Abloy is also in talks to sell its technology to other mobile phone makers, wrote Rising.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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