Mobile credentials: the exciting future

LEGIC - warehouse robots and mobile credentials

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Carl Fenger from LEGIC Identsystems asks: what happens when your smartphone knows what you want?

The prevalence of mobile credentials

People use mobile credentials on an almost daily basis.

When opening your office door using your smartphone or entering a metro station using an e-ticket, you are presenting information via near-field communication (NFC) that is relevant to you and stored on your mobile device.

This allows you to gain access to areas and services that you are authorized to use.

The infrastructure grants you rights based on the mobile credentials stored on your phone.

Mobile credentials enable mobile devices to become a form of “digital twin” that can store and selectively share data such as your identity, authorizations, preferences, credit card numbers, clothing size, shopping and location etc. with infrastructure such as doors, public transportation, vehicles, shops, vending machines, parking garages, hotels or even your own living room.

Mobile credentials are typically encrypted and can be as simple (e.g., an anonymized token) or content rich as an application requires.

When combined with meta-data such as your location, preferences, time, weather, vicinity of friends and family, your personal calendar, etc. apps or digital wallets that share mobile credentials with infrastructure make a great leap toward making your surrounding world more friendly, informative, customized and convenient.

Enabling powerful new apps

Three technologies are converging to enable a variety of service possibilities that will soon be commonplace.

By leveraging mobile credentials with ultra-wideband (UWB) indoor positioning (a short-range radio technology that determines your precise location even inside buildings) and Bluetooth advertising (the ability for any device within Bluetooth range to broadcast their availability, even while “asleep”), the connection between who you are, where you are and what’s available around you is made.

This can be illustrated in a variety of use cases.

Access control and indoor navigation

Guiding people as well as machines to their destination indoors as well as outside is the next evolutionary step for access control.

Add in the demand for touchless entry due to COVID, the scenario made famous by Star Trek is finally becoming reality: doors that recognize your intent and automatically open when authorized persons approach.

As UWB real-time locating systems (RTLS) can determine where you are (in front of a door and not behind it) and in what direction you are moving and how fast, smart doors can intelligently open and close as you freely walk through an office building, airport or campus.

Your mobile credentials make sure that only the right doors open and each door’s Bluetooth advertising informs your app of its identity and presence.

Shared mobility

With shared vehicles and mobility services, registering in-person and entering credit card details is bypassed with mobile credentials.

By simply approaching it (guided by indoor navigation), your desired vehicle activates via Bluetooth wake-up, unlocks and even adjusts to your personal preferences such as seat position, climate control, destinations, preferred restaurants and points of interest (POIs).

Credentials can be wirelessly shared with parking facilities and fueling/charging stations to provide a seamless driving experience where you never pull-out keys or your wallet.

Industrial internet of things (IIoT)

In IIoT deployments such as logistics supply chains, millions of interactions take place per day between vehicles, infrastructure, containers, etc. and employees, contractors and partners.

Ensuring that only authorized persons are interacting with industrial assets and at the right time and place, requires automated recognition of a person’s (or robot’s) mobile credentials.

Only then can interactions be allowed to take place including logging of when and where it occurred.

Smart self-service retail

Unmanned stores meet consumer demand for fast check-out, while reducing costs for retailers.

This shopping trend leverages mobile credentials, a smartphone equivalent to the customer loyalty card, with digital wallets.

“Just walk out” stores such as Amazon Go implement artificial intelligence (AI) with computer vision, sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) to detect items taken from the shelf.

As there is no staff, UWB navigation can further enhance the experience with indoor navigation to guide consumers to desired products and Bluetooth wake-up can advertise specials or new products as shoppers come within range.

Security by design

To enable these scenarios, an end-to-end platform is needed that facilitates creating, storing, updating, distributing and protecting mobile credentials as they are distributed over the internet, or broadcast via NFC or Bluetooth.

LEGIC Connect is a mobile credentialing platform that securely distributes credentials to registered mobile devices anytime, anywhere, instantly, automatically or at the touch of a button.

The system provides a globally available, secure, end-to-end credentialing service that is the backbone of establishing trust and accountability in user/infrastructure interactions.

The platform gives service providers the ability to manage user credentials and permissions, plus send and receive data securely to smartphones and infrastructure devices.

The system is compatible with UWB positioning systems and supports discovery of devices equipped with Bluetooth advertising.

LEGIC Connect supports Android and iOS devices and a mobile software development kit (SDK) is provided for easy development of mobile apps or wallet-based service based on mobile credentialing.

For details about LEGIC Connect, visit here.

This article on executive protection was originally published in the January edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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