Courtesy of CSA
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Connectivity alliance announces protocol for mobile and wearable access control

Nov. 10, 2023
Members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance establish a common credential and protocol that enhances interoperability between mobile devices and readers and unlocks greater scale of adoption.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance, an international community of more than 675 technology companies committed to open standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), recently unveiled a new effort aimed at transforming how users unlock doors or other entry points in smart buildings using their mobile device or wearable technology.

Aliro is a new communication protocol with a common credential that champions interoperability between mobile devices, wearables, and access control readers. The goal is to foster widespread adoption of consumer electronic devices to unlock doors and openings by enabling a consistent experience across certified hardware.

There arrives a point where adoption of a new technology cannot be realized when proprietary solutions make the experience inconsistent for those adopting it and for consumers. Aliro was formed as a new effort within the Alliance to solve this unique challenge, and the Alliance provides the place where this groundbreaking work can happen

Connectivity Standards Alliance President and CEO Tobin Richardson, commented:

“As we’ve seen with the introduction of Matter, it’s been proven that global collaboration around a shared mission along open standards is the best way to achieve broader adoption of new technology. The Alliance and its members are now using that same model to unlock the potential of digital access experience, with the creation of a new standard and credential that makes adoption easier for mobile device and access control reader companies.”

The aim of the new protocol is to create a path forward where the use of standardized technology – in this case, a common communication protocol and credential – can power a future where mobile devices and wearables are central to the digital access experience. Since the Aliro effort got under way in 2022, nearly 200 Alliance member companies have signed on, donating dedicated time and resources to help pave the way for a better, interoperable, and more secure digital access experience.

Built around 4 key principles

Aliro represents four key principles for mobile device and access reader manufacturers, and with benefits that extend to a wide range of stakeholders, from system owners and installers to property owners and managers, homeowners, and renters, and more. These include:

  • Simplicity–Lower barrier to implementation by reducing complexity for integration and streamlining troubleshooting.
  • Flexibility–Supports different types of installations or architectures, offering convenient access to both common and individual entry points.
  • Security–Foundation to implement state-of-the-art secured and trusted mobile access solutions.
  • Interoperability–Standardized communication protocol enables manufacturer-independent devices and readers to work together at the door.

Aliro aims to reduce the complexity of partner integrations and acts as an arbiter for certification of interoperability for mobile devices and access card readers. It is designed to reduce the high cost of R&D and simplify the integration process. The certified hardware then makes it easier for system owners and installers to select the best hardware and software for their needs, streamline installation, and support a wide variety of consumer smartphones and wearables. Aliro will also make management and maintenance of access control systems easier, eliminating the need to troubleshoot across multiple providers of hardware.

The Aliro communication protocol will act as the heart of the standard, supporting a wide range of transmission technologies, and facilitating adoption by user devices and access readers, across varied access control use cases. It promises to deliver a comprehensive point-to-point application layer. The standard will include definitions for Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth Low-Energy (LE), and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) experiences, as well as asymmetric cryptography and credential data.

Aliro looks to create an environment where access control and mobile device manufacturers work together, eliminating barriers to innovation and adoption. By establishing interoperable, simple, and secured solutions that can be adopted by mobile device and access control hardware makers, Aliro will speed adoption of the use of a mobile device as a key, and the installation, operation, and use of supported digital access card readers. It will have a lasting impact on the way people access their homes, corporate offices and facilities, warehouses, hotel rooms, healthcare and university facilities, and more.

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