Keeping students, faculty and staff members safe is among the top priorities for higher education facilities. For this reason, among others, many colleges around the United States are deploying advanced access control systems that use near-field communications technologies.
The University of San Francisco and Villanova University in Pennsylvania are just two of the many academic organizations embracing NFC-enabled access control systems, according to a report by CR80 News. These schools, like others, have transformed personal smartphones and other gadgets into ID cards by turning the gadgets into identity authentication tools.
"NFC is the wave of the future. Students need their smart card and their smartphone to get through the day. Why not make them the same?" said Jason Rossi, the director of the University of San Francisco's One Card and Campus Security System, according to CR80 News. "Our students are very tech savvy, so we knew this would be right up their alley."
How NFC is changing access control
In the past, access control systems needed complicated ID badges to authenticate a user's identity. While this is still the case, the rapid adoption of mobile devices is allowing organizations to change how these badges are presented, transforming them from traditional smartcards to personal smartphones, tablets and other gadgets.
By leveraging NFC-enabled access control systems, companies can improve physical security while simultaneously boosting service and user satisfaction, CR80 News noted.
"It increases security by acting as a de facto tool for secure access and transactions," Rossi said, according to the news source. "It improves service because students enjoy the convenience of using their phones instead of their cards. And we project it will reduce costs by reducing the number of lost cards, meaning we won't have to carry as extensive an inventory of replacement smart cards."
A separate report by Frost & Sullivan confirmed the growing adoption of NFC-enabled smartphones, noting that there will be more than 83 million devices, or approximately 53 percent of the overall market, using NFC technologies by 2015.
As mobile technologies continue to evolve and become more intuitive, the gadgets will likely embrace NFC technologies more fluently in the coming years, allowing educational facilities and a wide range of other industries to implement advanced access control systems.