That said, NFC can definitely be combined with traditional layers of access.
“The real opportunity is in the natively enabled NFC cellphones; I’m not sure about the market for the cellphone accessories that will turn any phone into an NFC enabled device,” Oetjen said.
He said he has seen little if any resistance toward NFC coming from the integrator or the end-user. “In my opinion, the slow adoption rate is coming from access readers and smartphones not being NFC enabled,” Oetjen said. “The manufacturers of access readers have just recently released NFC-enabled readers to the U.S. market and there are only a limited number of cell phone manufacturers that have released NFC enabled cell phones.
“I won’t pretend to know what is going on inside of Apple or Google, but from what I have heard Apple has not yet embraced NFC technology, but Google has embraced NFC for their Android based smartphones,” Oetjen continued. “I think we will see more NFC enabled smartphones released in 2013, but I am sure there are more than a few people waiting around to see if Apple puts NFC on their technology roadmap.”
Ledwith said she sees demand for readers and credentials which are “NFC ready.” This allows schools and other enterprises to be prepared to support the technology if and when it reaches a wide enough adoption for them to want to incorporate it into their programs.
“Our customers that have already implemented NFC agree that the infrastructure was a good investment whether NFC takes off or not,” Ledwith said.
“The adoption of secure, contactless credentials is a positive from security, convenience, and maintenance perspectives, with or without NFC,” she maintained. “In all cases, they were already using these secure credentials before ever considering NFC.”
Hart emphasized that customers will lower their credential costs by moving to virtual credentials. “It provides an additional convenient and highly secure form factor leveraging open standards. We do not see NFC totally replacing ID-1 or key fob form factors but rather augmenting them,” he said. “For integrators, NFC offers the ability to lower total solution costs and support additional convenient form factors such as mobile phones.”