It was recently suggested to me that within the access space, there would be a capability for an employee to open a door with a smartcard that simultaneously boots a computer up ready for their arrival.
Now I don't know if this a pipe dream or something that already exists, but it took a step towards reality last year when smartcard specialist HID Global acquired secure access solution provider ActivIdentity.
The company claimed that it is time for a convergence between a physical and logical card. Julian Lovelock, senior director of product marketing at ActivIdentity, said that he was seeing growing interest in a convergence to one card, as it makes sense on paper and it allows a combination of administration services into one place.
Why has this great idea not happened to date then? He said: “There still two different companies selling the technology so a unified solution was unlikely until now, this is the one thing that we have as a company and we have the potential to make it a reality.”
The acquisition in December 2010 allowed ActivIdentity to tap into HID Global's sales channel, as well as utilise its development capability, but in the first three months of the new ownership, Lovelock admitted that there had been no major changes but its set of trusted channels ‘were hungry for products'.
Following incidents such as the recent RSA SecurID breach, the case for software tokens has been brought to the fore. I asked Lovelock if he felt the smartcard technology could be adapted to a smartphone. He said that while this was a technology not currently in development, there was no reason why it could not work.
“At this point that is an evolution and the next step is with cards being widely accepted with tokens and convergence, in five years the phone will continue to evolve to that,” he said. With a secure grounding moving forward, I am sure this is not the last we have heard of this concept or technology.