Users wonder whether this provides convenience or a potential security problem.
LibeTech has revealed a new system that uses QR codes as a new high tech way to turn mobile devices such as smartphones into door keys.
What is now being asked is whether this keeps a room’s contents truly secure.
QR codes are already being used in a number of different ways to allow smartphone users to bridge the gap between reality and the digital world. The devices themselves are already making many different common items relatively obsolete, such as printed maps and payphones. Now, it may be that keys will be added to this list – as well as locksmiths and key chains – as a new open source technology has been launched, called LibeTech.
The LibeTech system replaces door keys with special unique QR codes.
Jerry Blum and a team of three other Cornell students developed LibeTech during the senior year of their education. They have shown that the system itself is quite easy for smartphone users to apply. They believe that it may revolutionize the hotel industry.
The example provided was that if an individual has a reservation for a hotel, they could log in at the hotel’s website and, following a digital check-in process, they will receive a barcode which will be used as the key for the hotel room door. Instead of having to go to the front desk of the hotel, guests will be able to head directly to their rooms and display the barcodes on the display screens of their mobile devices. The webcam on the door will scan the barcode and when it is a correct match, entry will be permitted.
This simple system doesn’t require the very latest in smartphone technology. QR codes can be displayed on any phone or mobile device that can receive, store, and display an image. Even many feature phones are capable of this type of function.
What many people are wondering is what would stop a thief from intercepting the code or taking a copy of it so that they could then use their own device as a key to the room. Many have suggested that entire hotel keys could be shared throughout torrent sites, generating massive security risks for those staying inside.
For this reason, Blum and the LibeTech team came up with a way around this problem of security with the QR codes: by making the concept open source instead of developing a commercial product.