Mobile phones have become the focal point of our digital lives. They have also become the main way that we interact with our physical spaces as well. They have replaced a long list of other tools and devices that used to share our attention. No longer do we need contact books, maps, cameras, voice recorders, calendars, clocks, to-do lists, or reminder notes. They have all been replaced by the smart devices that fit into our pockets and pocketbooks.
But mobile phones are not stopping there. They are coming for the last remaining few physical objects that we use for our daily routines: wallets and keys. Replacing the wallet is already happening. In the first quarter of 2021, around 38 percent of Americans said they used a mobile wallet. By the end of 2022, that number had risen to 49 percent. There is still plenty of room for that number to grow; in China, over 80 percent of the population uses mobile payment methods.
One of the reasons that mobile payments have had such good adoption is the widespread use of standards in the financial industry. Credit card companies have been using a data standard since 2008, and in 2018, they expanded those standards to include payments from smartphones. These standards make it possible for every phone to be used at every payment processing machine. It might seem like a small thing, but think about how much harder it would be to use movie payments, or credit cards for that matter if you could only use them at some stores.
Now, these same types of standards might unlock greater mobile access control adoption. A mobile access control standard called Aliro has been created that will soon make every door lock and turnstile that uses it instantly compatible with most smartphones. Access control providers are already embracing the opportunity to have instant interoperability by building this standard into their products. Popular access control provider Kastle has already built this Aliro compatibility into its current hardware and software in anticipation of this new industry standard. “This solution has been the dream of real estate and the access industry for decades,” said Haniel Lynn, CEO of Kastle.
The interconnectivity enabled by the new technology standard won’t just help workers access their offices more easily; it will also give building and office managers powerful new data. Oftentimes, the access control systems of the building are not the same as the ones that get installed by the occupier. That can make it difficult to have a clear view of how employees are moving throughout the building. But now, as these different access control systems become capable of connecting, they can easily share information between manufacturers. “The interoperability that we can achieve with our EverPresence platform and the Aliro standard eliminates barriers due to manufacturer incompatibility between devices and systems and frees occupant movement between the lobby and office suite and even to use amenities in other buildings,” added Lynn.
In the near future, workers will only need their mobile phones to access their workspaces. In the near future, a worker will use their authorized smartphone or smartwatch to open any smart lock at home, the office, the gym, or elsewhere, regardless of who made the phone or the lock, assuming all are Aliro compatible. To do this, building managers will need to upgrade their systems to support the new Aliro mobile access data standard. Although this upgrade may seem challenging, it comes with a long-term benefit: systems compatible with Aliro won’t need replacement as technology evolves. This upgrade will ultimately result in a building access control system that is more convenient for users and more efficient for operators.
Mobile phones, deeply embedded in our daily lives, are unlikely to be replaced in the foreseeable future. However, the same cannot be said for access control systems that aren’t designed to work with mobile phones. Systems not aligned with this technology or unable to communicate with devices from other providers may soon become obsolete. This underscores the importance of adopting the Aliro standard for future-proofing building access systems.