For several years, the talk in access control has focused primarily on smart cards. While the technology is great, it hasn't caught on quite as much as the security industry expected. Now there's a new technology trend in town and it's causing quite a bit of buzz.
Near field communication (NFC) allows users to ditch smart cards and enjoy the convenience of using their smartphone for keyless entry as well as a variety of other tasks. Smart cards are one of the most popular digital credentials on the market and while NFC will be a great option for users, it's not expected to completely wipe out smart cards. In fact, it's expected that NFC will help the smart card industry because it's still a smart-based application. The biggest question is when all smartphones will be enabled with the technology. A hotel in Stockholm, Sweden allows quests to enter rooms with their smartphones and bypass reception altogether.
There are phones on the market that come equipped with NFC, but not any from Apple yet. While there are rumors that Apple will release future iPhones with the technology already built-in, there is still no guarantee. While you can still get the iPhone turned into a NFC-enabled device, advertising it as an existing feature would give this technology a major boost.
So is NFC right for you? I'd say most likely. People are all about smartphones and anything they can do to make their lives easier. This is no different. Colleges especially have a high interest in NFC because of tech-savvy student populations. I think we'll be seeing a lot more NFC in upcoming years. It may not take off overnight, but it is definitely a new technology that a multitude of people can appreciate.