New Chip Allows Smartphones To Unlock And Power Smart Locks Without Internal Power Supply

Infineon says the chip that can unlock small smart locks under two seconds.
(credit: Sebastian Scholz (Nuki)/ Unsplash)

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Are you still using keys or have you fully transitioned to smart locks? If yes, then you would have known you need to provide batteries or power supply to your locks; otherwise you can’t unlock them remotely, and if the batteries or power supply are dead, you are locked out of your house or from your cabinet. A German chip company is developing a new solution to this problem.

In a news report by The Star, Infineon, a semiconductor maker, intends to make it possible to open keyless smart locks without an internal power source.

The technology could be used to let people use a smartphone to unlock smaller locks on things like office cabinets, lockers and letterboxes in about two seconds – depending on the mobile phone used. Instead of batteries or a power supply, the user’s mobile phone provides the energy that allows the chip to unlock the lock.

The chip could also be used as an emergency option for larger locks, such as smart home and hotel door locks. In the event of a power cut, Infineon says its chips could be able to continue working even if the lock is powered down, but you just have to wait much longer than two seconds.

With NFC technology, you can use your phone to open a lock in the same way that mobile payment services like Google Pay and Apple Pay are used. The NFC chip in the phone, which is a component of the great majority of modern smartphones, provides power to the chip in the lock. You may also set a password on the phone for more security.

The energy is collected by a capacitor on the chip, which then employs it to validate the user’s authorization before using a tiny motor to unlock the lock. Infineon says they are planning the first products with the chip are expected to arrive next year.

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