There’s a saying when Apple puts out a new feature that effectively kills a third-party app; it’s called being Sherlocked.
Upon seeing yesterday's WWDC, we initially had that fear. “Add your corporate badge and tap to enter your building or office” Jennifer Bailey, VP of Wallet and Apple Pay says smoothly, “And where you travel, with hotel keys, you’ll automatically receive your key when your room is ready even before you arrive at the hotel.” This sounds like Doordecks USP, but 4 years late.
Except, when you scrape back the slick production and smooth delivery, it’s clear we’ve not been Sherlocked at all, in fact, iOS15 and Apple Wallet Keys is amazing news for Doordeck.
Doordeck has been using NFC as the primary mode to unlock a door for years. As Bailey says, it’s the “fastest, most secure way to unlock” and she’s right. NFC is the most reliable, the easiest to install, and the fastest way to identify a lock (and then unlock it!).
Yet, access control providers who offer smartphone unlocking have relied on BLE (bluetooth), a historically unreliable and insecure technology, but a method which many access control solutions insist is good enough. Apple’s announcement could mean the death of this outdated technology and those long conversations trying to explain why NFC > BLE. Long reign NFC!
We love the concept of being sent a key in advance of a hotel stay (when we’re allowed to travel again). Doordeck has been in talks over the last 12 months with a variety of hoteliers to introduce this very offering. We hope that WWDC21 will raise awareness and help both hoteliers and guests become more comfortable with this technology - great news for us.
But Apple Wallet Keys is limited to only hotels and the access control solutions they’ve partnered with, Doordeck is not. We’re completely hardware agnostic, integrating with almost any access control system (and other products) without requiring a hardware upgrade*.
We agreed that the over-the-air sharing of hotel keys is fantastic, but again this Apple feature is only for hotels.
At Doordeck, we call this same feature our app-less Visitor Pass, and it’s not restricted to hotels. Offices, residential, car parking, lockers, hotels etc - the flexibility of our visitor pass is in the ability to give temporary access to whatever building, meeting room or elevator that’s required. You can even set our Visitor Pass to expire automatically.
Yes, we heard the “whisper” of the 72% of you who are on Android phones. Obviously Apple Wallet Keys cannot support Android devices, but Doordeck can. The Doordeck app is available on both the App Store and Google Play, plus our APIs and SDK means that Doordeck functionality can be integrated into any app.
The more we looked into iOS15 and Apple Wallet Keys, the more we realised it is nowhere near as compelling a product as Doordeck is. Our features extend far beyond what’s listed in this post so we encourage you to check them out here, and to keep your eyes peeled for detailed blog posts in the future.
We would like to thank Apple and Jennifer for taking this step forward with Wallet. Like Doordeck, Apple shares the same vision that your key and passes can and should live in the phone. This announcement only further cements that we are not only at the forefront of this technology but years ahead.
*overlooked in WWDC21 is the requirement for the majority of buildings to upgrade their card readers in order to support Apple Wallet Keys.