Apple NFC Could Be Lightning Rod for Change in Access Control Industry

This is a Research Note from Blake Kozak, senior analyst for Security and Building Technologies at research firm IHS Inc. – For more than four years now, one of the most talked about trends has been field communication (NFC). NFC was supposed to change the face of the access control industry by eliminating the need for cards, subsequently reducing the administrative burden on organizations of all sizes all while increasing security. However this has not yet come to pass, with suppliers offering little more than pilot projects, with limited real-world installations.

How In-Store Analytics Is Changing The Way You Shop

Apple’s Latest iPhone Models Go On Sale Across U.S. Andrew Burton/Getty Most of us have accepted the fact that when we log on to a website, web cookies are tracking our every click. That’s how sites like this can tell what people are reading and what they’re ignoring, which all helps inform what those sites publish next. The same goes for e-commerce sites. If you click a pair of shoes at several times, maybe even drop it into a virtual shopping cart, it’s likely you’ll see ads for that exact shoe hours, even days, later. Whether or not you bought the shoes only matters a little. Cookies allow e-commerce sites to track consumer behavior, which in turn better informs what each site looks like, what kinds of products it offers and where else on the web it buys ads. Retailers want to be able to gather the same data that they gather online at their brick-and-mortar stores. Until recently, that hasn’t been possible. The advent of smartphones, however, means that retailers are increasingly able to track your every move. And just like there are multiple analytics platforms on the web — from Google Analytics to my particular favorite, Omniture — there are dozens of in-store analytics programs, too, many of which have received millions of dollars in venture capital funding over the past couple of years. The one you’re most likely to encounter initially is iBeacon, which was developed by Apple . It works with your iPhone’s Bluetooth […]

Can Apple Transfer Its Elegance To Secure Biometrics And Access Control?

With a fresh patent in hand this week for facial recognition, a fingerprint reader on its iPhone 5 and a new $345 million acquisition of 3D-sensor company PrimeSense , Apple seems to be putting some serious body english on the user interface. Apple facial recognition device touchID primesense Exhibit 1 from Apple’s Facial Recognition patent. No. 124 points to an "image sensor" behind the screen. Is Apple gunning to re-define interacting (re: authentication) and interfacing with computers, devices – and ultimately "things" in the computing environment at large? And will it re-set expectations for security, as well as, for innovation and convenience? Apple’s newest patent awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office points to a sophisticated array of biometric and gesture-based inputs across a range of devices and vertical industries. If that is the case (the company isn’t saying), can Apple’s pedigree for elegant design overcome fickle user acceptance and current shortcomings in biometric technology and lap the field? "The state of play today in consumer biometrics security is pretty primitive," said Steve Wilson, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "In security, we’re accustomed to rigorous standards and testing; lots of peer review; all encryption algorithms being published. But with biometrics we still don’t have agreed upon test protocols." Wilson said consumer biometrics is all about convenience and has very little to do with serious security. Apple found that out first hand when the Touch ID fingerprint reader on the new iPhone 5 was hacked shortly after […]