The combination solution with NFC and BLE adds unique and trusted identities to everyday objects that can now be read by NFC-enabled mobile devices as well as BLE-enabled mobile devices.

No NFC ? No Problem - Just Use BLE

HID Global enables Trusted Tag Solution with BLE and NFC in one tag

HID Global’s Trusted Tag Services enable indisputable proof of presence with frictionless authentication via Trusted NFC for security applications – for example, in asset and facility management. However, since adding Bluetooth to its technology portfolio, HID Global can offer security solutions that combine Trusted NFC and Trusted BLE for new areas of application. Mark Robinton, Director of Business Development and Strategic Innovation, HID Global, gives insights into why this combination will be a successful outlook for many branches such as healthcare, leisure, and event management.

Mark Robinton, Director of Business Development and Strategic Innovation, HID Global, in an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global

Richard Aufreiter
Richard Aufreiter
Product Management Director
Granges-Veveyse, Switzerland
Marie Glotz-Bartley
Marie Glotz-Bartley
VP Sales
Granges-Veveyse, Switzerland

Complementary technologies

Digitization is not only a buzzword in business and industry, but also an important transformation when it comes to improving service, safety, and comfort in everyday applications. And end users are already digital - they almost always have the interface with them: their smartphone. “The innovative solution combines the benefits of NFC and BLE in one tag. The combination solution adds unique and trusted identities to everyday objects that can now be read by NFC-enabled mobile devices as well as BLE-enabled mobile devices. As a result, both technologies complement each other and liberate the communication with the end user as the technological equipment of the used smartphone becomes secondary when covering all technological bases.”

Consumer-oriented applications

In consumer-oriented applications, Mark Robinton sees two categories of use cases: “In the restaurant sector, we can install a combination tag on every table. Customers can order food, access the menu in multiple languages, leave reviews, call for a waiter, have food delivered, or pay quickly, securely, and digitally via their smartphones, having both BLE and NFC functionalities available. When as many technologies as possible are made available to the consumers, the technology independence gives the customers greater freedom and more comfort when using the digital restaurant services, independent from their type of smartphone.

Customer-oriented marketing strategies via push messages or similar contacts when near an interface can be realised in parallel. Currently, the solution with a tag on the table as a communication interface is being piloted at a restaurant chain in France, with expansions to other restaurant chains and regions already underway.”

“The combination solution adds unique and trusted identities to everyday objects that can now be read by NFC-enabled mobile devices as well as BLE-enabled mobile devices. As a result, both technologies complement each other and liberate the communication with the end user, as the technological equipment of the used smartphone becomes secondary when covering all technological bases.” - Mark Robinton

Conferences become more personal

The second application area is in event management. For example at a exhibition, during a key note address at a mass event, the event organisers can implement combination devices with NFC and BLE on tables or hand out mobile tags that can be worn by the participants as a badge. Mark Robinton explains: “When you tap your combination device you can signal to other participants or exhibitors what room or you are in or what expert talks you are participating in, other participants can seamlessly interact with you, or you can ask questions to the presenter.

The solution creates personal benefits for the visitors to an event, enabling smooth digital connections to lectures and participants as well as giving the opprtunity to arrange meetings with other participants or exhibitors beforehand or spontaniously via the BLE/NFC interface. The application possibilities for events are endless. IBM already used this technology combination solution at its Watson Summit. Other events are testing it as well.”

Easy proof of presence in healthcare

Moreover, the Trusted NFC and BLE combination solution also generates multiple benefits for the home care and eHealth sectors. In healthcare, the combination of NFC and BLE enables an extended proof of presence. “In the home healthcare sector, nursing staff often bring their own smart devices to provide a proof of presence. Therefore, if the implemented proof of presence technology solution only supports a specific technology or frequency, the staff who do not have access to this specific technology on their smart device consequently have no smooth access to a secure proof of presence.

When enabling a combination solution with both BLE and NFC, all staff members can use their smart devices independent of their technological equipment. They can thus prove that they cared for the patient during their predetermined time slot. Many of our customers plan to switch from our Trusted NFC solution to our combined Trusted NFC/BLE solution as it broadens consumer comfort, is more seamless and compatible, has a better adoption curve, and offers easier support,” the Director of Business Development and Strategic Innovation explains.

Secure data is the currency of the future

In May 2017, HID Global introduced the edTamper Seal Tag that allows detection of broken seals via RFID for sensitive and highly secure applications. Tamper evidence will be a trending topic in 2018 as well. Mark Robinton explains: “Data is the currency of the future. Digitization, IoT, Industry 4.0, smart data, and connected services lead to more complex and more valuable data. This opens up more opportunities for cyber attacks and data security breaches if it is left unprotected. Thus, more comprehensive security features are needed.

HID’s tamper evident solution verifies the seal status integrity for large tag volumes. As new and more complex security features for various applications are needed, HID develops more form factors for NFC and BLE-based tamper evident solutions. In 2018, we are strongly focusing on expanding our tamper evidence portfolio with Trusted NFC, Trusted BLE, or combination solutions in different form factors.”

Combining digital and physical features

The Director of Business Development and Strategic Innovation continues: “We also see potential for tamper evident solutions that combine digital and physical features. Due to the unique, non-replicable URL, tags assigned to an individual item as well a the tag ID cannot be reproduced or relocated to another product. In addition, physical tampering – such as unauthorized product opening or illegal refilling – can be detected through broken loops when scanning the NFC tag with an NFC-enabled device. This combination enables double-layered security for all participants of the value chain.

We support all frequencies and technologies – from NFC to LF, HF, and UHF to BLE and sensor technology – to offer our customers frequency and technology-independent solutions that cover all options, providing customers with the most fitting technology or technology combination for their individual customer application – and we will continuously expand our application portfolio.

Trusted temperature tracking solutions in combination with sensor technology in the cold chain, condition monitoring, or predictive maintenance applications have potential for the future as well. Everything you invest now in a broader hardware portfolio will later pay off when your logistics and IT infrastructure are agnostic to frequency and technology.”


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