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Turning smartphones into secure and versatile keys
Date:1/3/2013

ns Dmitrienko.

ShareKey works using the Near Field Communication (NFC) transmission standard, which allows data to be exchanged wirelessly over short ranges of up to a few centimeters."To open a door, all you need to do is hold your mobile phone close to the lock," says Dmitrienko. NFC interface and door locks only operate within a narrow bandwidth and have limited computing power. Consequently, scientists at the SIT have equipped ShareKey with particularly resource-efficient communication protocols. Further, electronic keys are reliably protected on the smartphone from malware and unauthorized access. This is achieved by leveraging advanced technologies which keep sensitive data on the smartphone separate from other data and apps (e.g. Fraunhofer's BizzTrust).

Communication between the mobile phone and a central server is protected by established security protocols. "And even if this communication is hacked into, it's impossible for unauthorized people to gain access to the digital key. This is because opening the door requires information contained both in the encrypted token sent to the user and in the app installed on their smartphone," clarifies Dmitrienko. Alongside front doors and parcel or locker compartments, the research scientist also suggests that the technology could potentially be applied to help administer keys in hotels or as part of car-sharing schemes. "The trend towards a 'shareconomy' will benefit the further development of this technology," concludes Dmitrienko. So the era of mobile phones as keys is one step closer.


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Contact: Alexandra Dmitrienko
alexandra.dmitrienko@sit.fraunhofer.de
49-615-116-75566
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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