in an interview
with RFID Global
EV charging and mobile authentication in the context of latest developments in RFID and WioT
Elatec is a leading global provider of user authentication and identification solutions. Together with its global partners, the company develops innovative and future-proof RFID systems for its customers, combining contactless (RFID, NFC, Bluetooth) and contact (smartcard) technologies. Robert Helgerth, CEO of Elatec, talks about the company's trends and strategies.
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Mr. Helgerth, how has Elatec started the year 2022?
Considering current world events, we've had a surprisingly good start to the year. The chip shortage has slowed us down only slightly so far. We have been able to draw on existing inventories and act more flexibly through forward-looking production planning at various manufacturing sites. Based on last year's good results, we have set a growth forecast of 30%, and at least in Q1 we have already been able to achieve this target.
Which new markets are important for Elatec in 2022?
One of the focus markets for us is EV-charging stations. The market is developing rapidly and is very exciting for us and our customers, which is clearly shown by the increased demand from this area. In 2021, we have developed products specifically for this market. In our portfolio, we have readers that are particularly suitable for charging stations. They process all common transponder types as well as NFC and BLE. Together with our partners, we make the authentication process as simple and secure as possible for users and operators. Linked to this is also another important trend: authentication with the cell phone. Our readers offer users the ability to authenticate with both cards and mobile devices.
What trends are you seeing for the WIoT industry?
As I said, access, and therefore secure login, via cell phone is already on the rise, and this concerns charging station operators. At the moment, however, company ID or membership cards are still frequently used for authentication. This calls for a hybrid solution that supports both mobile and card-based applications. Our universal readers can do both, enabling a smooth migration for our customers. You could say that companies are essentially actively protecting their investment with such a solution.
What new products does Elatec have in this regard?
We have developed a software solution for mobile access authorizations. This allows our customers to send a digital passport to their employees, who can then use their smartphones for authentication in a wide range of applications. For iPhones, this application has so far been based on BLE, and for Android on NFC. We are in close communication with Apple, which so far does not allow NFC for access solutions. Hopefully, this will change soon.