First blackberry phone of 2012 will be able to unlock doors

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BlackBerry Phones

Ever heard of Assa Abloy? Probably not, but if you work or live in a building that has those tap-your-card-to-open door locks, you’re familiar with what they do. And starting in 2012, they’ll be doing what they do inside BlackBerry phones. RIM continues to struggle to remain relevant and win over consumers, and it’s even having a tough time in enterprise settings — where it once dominated the market. And yet while other manufacturers like HTC and Asus are busy churning out innovations like quad core phones and tablets , RIM figures turning the upcoming BlackBerrys into digital keys is something that will win customers over? Actually, it just might.

Think about how the current cards work. You tap it on the pad, and the door unlocks. That’s where the security ends. A stolen wallet then becomes a map to your home or office and the keys to enter it. Hopefully you’re able to get a hold of the folks in charge and they can disable your card if used to perpetrate something so nefarious, but it could happen. With an Assa Abloy enabled BlackBerry, that’s no longer a problem.

You’ll be able to set a PIN on your phone, and that two-factor authentication will be enough to stop would-be intruders. Unless, of course, you’ve done something silly like save your PIN in a note on your handset. The Assa Abloy enabled Bold 9900 and 9930, and Curve 9350 and 9360 will be legacy-friendly and won’t require any such building upgrades.

This is certainly one way RIM can make its phones stand out, and even if it’s not the kind of feature that wins over consumers it will certainly warrant closer examination of the 2012 BlackBerry range by enterprise administrators and those who manage facilities where security and access is a top concern — like hospitals, museums, and government facilities.
Even if RIM falls behind with the average Joe, multi-handset roll-outs in business settings could offer plenty of profit and help stabilize the Canadian company’s future.
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