CSA Aliro standardises door opening technology

  • November 15, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) has unveiled Aliro, an effort aimed at transforming how users unlock doors or other entry points using their mobile devices or wearables.

The alliance and its members are creating a communication protocol to champion interoperability between mobile devices, wearables and access control readers. The goal is to foster widespread adoption of consumer electronic devices to unlock doors and openings, by enabling a consistent experience across certified hardware.

There arrives a point where adoption of a technology cannot be realised when proprietary options make the experience inconsistent for those adopting it and for consumers.

“As we’ve seen with the introduction of Matter, it’s been proven that global collaboration around a shared mission along open standards is the best way to achieve broader adoption of new technology,” said CSA president Tobin Richardson. “The alliance and its members are now using that same model to unlock the potential of digital access experience, with the creation of a new standard and credential that makes adoption easier for mobile device and access control reader companies.”

With the support of companies such as Allegion, Apple, Assa Abloy, Google, Infineon, Kastle Systems, Last Lock, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Samsung and ST Microelectronics, Aliro was formed to create a path forward where the use of standardised technology – in this case, a common communication protocol and credential – can power a future where mobile devices and wearables are central to digital access. Since the Aliro effort got under way in 2022, nearly 200 alliance member companies have signed on, donating dedicated time and resources to help pave the way for a better, interoperable and more secure digital access.

“This collaboration aims to raise the bar for an interoperable, consistent, secured and streamlined mobile access experience at the door or place of entry,” said Lisa Corte, Aliro Working Group marketing chair and vice president at Assa Abloy. “With a team of industry leaders, thousands of engineering hours and broad support from diverse member companies, our goal is to make a big impact when it comes to transforming the way people unlock openings using their smartphones and wearables. I applaud this group for the ongoing effort and collaboration as we develop the Aliro specification.”

Aliro represents four principles for mobile device and access reader manufacturers, and with benefits that extend to a wide range of stakeholders, from system owners and installers to property owners and managers, homeowners and renters, and more. The principles are:

  • Simplicity: Lower barrier to implementation by reducing complexity for integration and streamlining troubleshooting.
  • Flexibility:Supports different types of installations or architectures, offering convenient access to both common and individual entry points.
  • Security:Foundation to implement secured and trusted mobile access.
  • Interoperability:Standardised communication protocol enables manufacturer-independent devices and readers to work together at the door.

Aliro aims to reduce the complexity of partner integrations and act as an arbiter for certification of interoperability for mobile devices and access card readers. It is designed to reduce the cost of R&D and simplify the integration process. The certified hardware then makes it easier for system owners and installers to select the best hardware and software for their needs, streamline installation, and support a wide variety of consumer smartphones and wearables. Aliro should also make management and maintenance of access control systems easier, eliminating the need to troubleshoot across multiple providers of hardware.

The Aliro communication protocol will act as the heart of the standard, supporting a wide range of transmission technologies and facilitating adoption by user devices and access readers across varied access control use cases. It promises to deliver a point-to-point application layer. The standard will include definitions for NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy and UWB, as well as asymmetric cryptography and credential data.

Aliro looks to create an environment where access control and mobile device manufacturers work together, eliminating barriers to innovation and adoption. By establishing interoperable, simple and secured options that can be adopted by mobile device and access control hardware makers, Aliro should speed adoption of the use of a mobile device as a key, and the installation, operation and use of supported digital access card readers. It could have a lasting impact on the way people access their homes, corporate offices and facilities, warehouses, hotel rooms, healthcare and university facilities, and more.

To learn more about Aliro, visit: csa-iot.org/all-solutions/aliro.