Villanova University conducted a five-month pilot using Apple iPhones sporting NFC-enabled cases to give a group of student’s physical access to dorms and dining halls.
Kathy Gallagher, director of Card Systems at Villanova University, reveals that the pilot included iPhone 4 and 4S models because those were the devices that were most common amongst students.
To circumvent the lack of NFC support on the iPhone, Gallagher and Villanova joined forces with CBORD to make the NFC pilot a reality.
Students participating in the pilot were required to download a specific app as well as apply the NFC-enabled case to their iPhone device. The phone cases directly emulate the students’ campus card and allow for the same functionalities directly from the iPhone.
Gallagher saw incredibly positive feedback from participating students, and upon asking students what they thought of the solution, students asked, “Where else are you going to put this? I want to use this somewhere else.”
The overwhelming success of the pilot has Gallagher imploring Apple to support NFC technology with future devices.
“Hopefully Apple will put NFC into their phone and eliminate the need for the case,” says Gallagher. “The case was a temporary tool that we had to use since the technology was not built into the phones.”