“A house key app under development for smartphones lets users wave their phones at doors to unlock them,” explains a post on Mashable. “The app, called ShareKey, also will allow its owners to electronically share keys with a houseguest, a plumber scheduled to come in for a fix, or anyone else they like – and to attach certain limits to that access.”
The app is being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany. ShareKey researches say the system could be used by a company to control employee and guest access to a building from anywhere in the world. Hotels or car-sharing companies might also be interested in using ShareKey, Fraunhofer representatives say.
So how does it work?
“The new app uses near-field communication (NFC), which many existing smartphones already support,” Mashable explains. “Phones with NFC are able to send and receive NFC signals over distances of a few inches. Some existing apps already make use of the signaling tech, such as Google Wallet, which allows users to tap their smartphones onto NFC readers at cash registers to pay for purchases.”
Next evolution: Someone teaches an app how to open sealed jam jars.