NFC may finally be starting to get the hardware support it needs to start becoming an important smartphone feature, but what can you really do with it? Some users may be unimpressed with the tap-to-share file transfer abilities (can’t I just email someone files?) or the NFC payments (my credit card already has tap-to-pay) we usually point to when discussing the technology’s uses. Now there’s a new one coming to BlackBerry phones, and maybe it has what it takes to win NFC over some new fans.
Starting next year, BlackBerry phones with NFC will be able to communicate with HID-made wireless entry systems. HID manufactures many of the readers used for prox-card-based door security, and soon BlackBerry handsets will be compatible with its iCLASS-type systems.
Now, if your office uses a combo ID card/keycard, this innovation won’t really give you much direct benefit. For business that distribute keycards separately, especially ones that already have a sizable population of employees using late-model BlackBerrys, it sounds like this could be a real boon. Of course, there’s the problem of what to do when you’re locked out and your phone is dead, but we’ll let RIM and HID worry about that one.