RFC: Mobile Applications

Technology Reserve seeks know-how deposits and Technology Packages in the field of mobile application development, software tokens, and electronic access control systems.


A typical adult carries a key ring holding nine keys,1 and an assorted array of fobs and key cards. All of these could, in principle, be replaced by one secure device that many people already carry in their pocket: a smartphone. Replacing keys with a software-based token offers a number of advantages, including simple updating of access authority, elimination of physical keys, and the capability to leverage new authentication technologies such as fingerprint analysis.

The market for electronic access control systems is growing 7% per year and will reach $16.3 billion by 2017.2 In these systems the smart card, programmed with a key code, typically uses RFID or Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to communicate with a physical lock. The large installed base of NFC locks represents a tremendous opportunity for smartphone access, as an NFC-enabled smartphone can be programmed to emulate a key card.3 Legacy smartcard-access systems typically have networked controllers, so smartphones not supporting NFC can, in principle, be granted access through the cloud.

Technology Reserve’s client seeks app developers to create smartphone access card emulators and cloud access capability for physical locks.

1 Clark, Sarah: “Research Shows Potential of NFC in Helping Homeowners Manage their Keys
More Securely”, NFC World, March 2011
2 Marketsandmarkets.com, “Electronic Access Control Systems,” January 2013
3 Multiple authors: Wikipedia: Host Card Emulation (HCE), updated 28 February 2014.

Key Capabilities:

  • Mobile application development expertise, particularly using NFC capabilities
  • Software token experience

An ideal expert partner will:

  • Deposit the know-how required to develop secure authentication methods
  • Deposit the know-how and IP to create a software token application interoperable with existing electronic access control systems
  • Participate in the solving, packaging, assembly, or management of this project

 For inquiries, contact Astha Vijay, astha@techreserve.com