Meet an NFC innovator: Tapkey

Meet an NFC innovator: Tapkey

This blog series showcases the creative minds behind some of the most intriguing applications for Near Field Communication (NFC).

Gilbert Hoedl, “My phone is my key”
CEO of Tapkey

 A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Gilbert boasts a stellar track record for creating companies that derive their competitive advantage from customer centricity. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Lixto (purchased by McKinsey & Company) as well as of Update Software, which grew from a startup into one of Europe’s market leaders. With FitnessGoesOffice he turned his passion into business. With his latest invention, Tapkey, he literally opens new doors for consumers and business partners alike.

NXP: Tell us- what should excite us about Tapkey?

Gilbert: Put simply- Tapkey turns phones into super-secure keys for all kinds of locks, whether it’s for the home, office, car, hotel… the list is endless. Tapkey supports multiple platforms, and we enable lock makers to instantly deliver products with smartphone capability. We first came into contact with NFC back in 2010, and when we realized that it would allow a smartphone to talk to a lock, the idea for Tapkey began to develop.

NXP: What does your application do, and how does it use NFC?

Gilbert: Tapkey enables secure and instant access to all kinds of things and services- via a NFC enabled smartphone and your digital ID, meaning no more keys in your pocket. NFC allows for the “magical” opening of all doors with a smartphone, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. NFC was a fitting technology due to its security- when dealing with locks, security is obviously very important. NFC is chosen for the most demanding applications such as digital wallets and mobile car access, so the technology already had a precedence of being secure.

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NXP: Tell us where you see this going

Gilbert: Currently, we’re trying to get people “Internet-of-Things-ready” by providing easy access via a digital ID. For our next-gen product, we’re going to add an additional layer of security to access- similar to the level of security credit cards have. We hope to see people getting a great user experience as NFC becomes integrated into all kinds of services. We even have a video of unlocking a car trunk via smartphone – we’re pretty excited about where Tapkey is going!

NXP: You help unlock the Smart Home- what other applications do you think should be part of the future home?

Gilbert: NFC integrated alarm systems that interact with your smartphone would really enhance the home.

NXP: We’d love to get inside the mind of an Innovator- can you tell us what tabs you have open on your browser?

Gilbert: Just one open right now – an article about Elon Musk. I’m also trying to get inside the mind of an innovator.

NXP: If you had to, would you rather live without your phone or your computer?

Gilbert: I need my phone- I travel and move a lot- plus, my phone is my key!


Related Links

Tapkey Website:

NFC technology for access management:

More NFC innovator interviews:

Unlocking a Tesla car trunk via smartphone:

Vanessa Lowe
Vanessa Lowe
Vanessa Lowe is a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University and currently interning in the Marketing and Communications department. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Loyola Marymount University and has been with NXP since May 2014. Having worked in both San Jose and Hamburg offices, Vanessa enjoys exploring the different uses of NFC technology and has been making easy-to-understand cartoon clips about the various uses of NFC chips.

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