Host card Emulation and Access Control
Last year Google introduced HCE (Host Card Emulation) feature under NFC connectivity for Android Kitkat version (Android 4.4). This feature allows any NFC enabled Smartphone to act as NFC Type 4A card (eg., access card/ID card) so that NFC/RFID readers (eg., Access control devices) can read them as NFC/RFID card and get desired data. Basically what this means to cutomers is that you don’t need to open an App to use the phone as an access card. Prior to the launch of HCE, one had to download an App, open the app and tap to get the desired result because NFC readers had only P2P (Peer to peer) capabilities to read data from NFC enabled Smartphones.
HCE allows a seamless user experience as compared to NFC P2P feature. HCE is ideal for use cases where the data has to be shared from NFC Smartphone to NFC reader in one direction only. The launch of this feature has allowed many companies across the world to adopt HCE for their NFC applications especially in the payment space.
Since most of the NFC readers support NFC Type 4A card, a small change of NFC reader application ensures any NFC reader becomes HCE compliant. HCE ensures ease of use across a number of NFC readers as compared to NFC P2P, where one needs to implement entire protocol at the NFC reader side to be NFC P2P compliant.
We find HCE (Host Card Emulation) very useful for Access Control applications. Imagine a scenario, where you just tap the access control installed at the door and the door opens without you having to unlock your smartphone, open the app and tap the access control device. HCE allows such ease of operation for access control.
For organizations, NFC based access control solution provides an opportunity to save costs and increase efficiency. Such a solution ensures that employees can use their NFC smart phones as access cards and ID cards. No more spending on ordering and printing cards. As Smartphones have proliferated and commonly used, there is a very high probability that most of the employees already have a NFC enabled smart phone. Also, the fact that people rarely forget to carry their phone ensures that all the employees always have their access card/ID card since their phone itself is the access card/ ID card. NFC based access control solution actually ensures that organisations save cost and time.
We are proud to be able to announce that in collaboration with our manufacturer, we have enabled HCE on our access control solution that allows your employees to just tap with their mobile phone to access their workplace.