With more than 20 years experience offering high-quality, innovative products and exceptional customer service, STid is a French company with a worldwide reach that specializes in contactless identification technologies such as RFID, NFC and Bluetooth Smart. STid invents and offers RFID readers and tags for the most demanding security and asset track and trace markets. We recently caught up with Vincent Dupart, CEO of STid to ask him about the launch of their new STid Mobile ID® solution.
What is your new mobile access control solution and how does it work?
STid Mobile ID® has been developed with RFID, NFC and Bluetooth® Smart technologies, bringing the access badge onto mobile terminals such as smartphones. It can work alongside, extend or replace traditional access badges. This virtual badge offers a range of intuitive and user-friendly methods that can be tailored to use in any situation – proximity or hands-free mode, “tap tap”, remote control, touch and more. With the Online application, a virtual badge can be sent instantly and securely to a remote user (visitor, new staff member) with an Android phone or iPhone. The Offline application can be used to create virtual badges, in the same way as conventional badges. The Online version will enable access rights to be managed in real time by remotely sending access authorizations to a smartphone. STid Mobile ID® has won the “Think outside the box” award and the France’s Security trophy for its innovative response to growing mobility issues for business, government and industry. Those new awards reflect our ability to keep on innovating and to design well suited solutions for users and Security Directors real needs.
Why have you chosen to pursue a mobile solution? What was the challenge you were trying to overcome and how do you believe feel that a mobile solution helps you and your customers address that challenge?
With increasing mobility in businesses, a technological revolution is underway, based on the use of interconnected resources. Access control is considered as a constraint by 98% of workers. Indeed, they need to use their access card on average 11 times per day. Access control is changing, with new applications and new equipment. Nowadays, more than 70% of workers use a smartphone at work. Smartphone offers new ways of interacting with access control readers and provides a response to issues generated by increasing staff mobility. STid has drawn on this social reality to develop STid Mobile ID®. Our secure mobile solution is easy to use and takes the difficulty out of the access control.
You state that this solution works alongside traditional access badges. Why have you done this? In what sort of environment might I want to use both access badges and mobile access?
It’s the beginning of the mobile access control market but the number of businesses, governments and industries adopting smartphones for access control continues to increase. One of the main challenges is to transfer the virtual access card on to the personal mobile phone. Nowadays, businesses implement only the mobile solution on professional smartphones. It needs time to use the virtual card on both professional and personal mobile phones. As a consequence, the smartphone can work alongside or extend traditional access badges.
Do you believe that this solution will eventually replace physical access tokens such as access badges are becoming obsolete?
For sure and for many reasons… even if it will take a little longer than expected. Indeed, you don’t forget your smartphone unlike your traditional plastic card. Furthermore, by turning smart phones into credentials, companies can improve internal efficiencies, return on investment and save money. Main cost sources are removed such as management, storage and transportation costs. The total cost of a secure virtual card is two to five times less than a classic plastic card.
Why have you chosen to base STid Mobile ID® on both RFID and Bluetooth technologies as opposed to simply picking one or the other?
The smartphone will work alongside traditional access credentials. Developed with RFID and Bluetooth® Smart Low Energy technologies, our solution makes it easy to manage extensions, upgrades and technologies migrations.
What are some of the stand out features of the virtual badge that make it different to other solutions of this type on the market?
Our STid Mobile ID® solution leverages the benefits of smartphones to create a unique user experience based on intuitive and innovative identification methods that do not compromise user safety. Our solution represents a unique way to access buildings.
STid offers 5 Proximity or Hands-free identification modes for an intuitive, fluid and easy management of your access. For example, you can now open a door by placing your hand close to the access control reader. This action initializes the communication with the smartphone which will grant the access, even if the device is in standby mode or in a phone call.
Furthermore, you can tap your phone in your pocket or use a hands-free function to open a door without even taking your smartphone out of your bag. It’s quite simple, ergonomics and unencumbered.
STid is also differentiated by its Offline and Online architectures for businesses, governments and industries which can manage autonomously and independently the security on their premises.
Lastly, our free app does not require a license and includes a free CSN virtual card, offering an affordable, easy to install access control solution. After the user downloads the free app, they can open a door or entry point by holding their mobile device near the reader.
You state that your Offline and Online applications let you store data on your premises by creating locally or remotely a virtual card for users with Android phones or iPhone. Can you please elaborate on this?
Security Managers have to keep control of the company security! Confidence in the solution is a key factor for its success. We adapt our open solution to the client profile, offering the choice between hosting the solution on their own premises or remotely with a trusted third party. We are the only company to offer on-site client data storage, without outsourcing security to a third party.
On the one hand, the online application makes it possible to transfer instantly and safely a virtual card to a remote user – visitor, new collaborator – on an Android phone or iPhone. On the other hand, the offline mode can be used to create virtual credentials, in the same way as conventional badges.