ViRDI launches MobileKey

April 2016 Access Control & Identity Management, Products

ViRDI, manufactured by Union Community (South Korea) and distributed by ViRDI Distribution SA, has unveiled MobileKey as an authentication service for its access control solution.

By utilising pre-existing technologies and services, ViRDI is able to turn any Android and iOS smartphone into an authentication factor for access control purposes negating the need for cumbersome visitor management and proximity tags.

MobileKey uses the imkey application to generate a unique code that is recognised by ViRDI’s new generation biometric terminals and proximity card readers as a valid authentication factor. The new generation terminals and readers are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors that communicates with the smartphone and verifies whether the code generated by imkey is valid and access will be granted or denied accordingly. No need for the client/user smartphone to be paired with the biometric or proximity reader terminal, it only has to be within 15 cm of the terminal or proximity reader with Bluetooth activated on the smartphone.

The imkey app is free to download and install from Google Play or iTunes and authentication codes can be procured via the ViRDI service provider in batches at a nominal cost to the client. This application back-end is hosted by Amazon, which in real world terms means that failover connectivity is almost limitless. Once a code has been issued to a cellular number, imkey will request the recipient to install the app – if not already installed – and authenticate certain details before the actual code is sent for use on ViRDI access control devices. Multiple codes for multiple access control systems can exist within the same smartphone as the imkey app provides the ability to select which key to use for which access controlled site.

UNIS-B PLUS is a mobile application that can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play or iTunes. All that is required is that the end-user register the company as a site code with ViRDI. This app is then installed on the smartphone of a system administrator as an on-the-fly way of issuing MobileKey and of managing devices with BLE installed.

This administrator smartphone is then paired via Bluetooth to the BLE enabled device and MobileKeys can then be issued to a specific cellular number (which has the imkey app installed) for a specific terminal or range of terminals. This will be handy for granting access rights to remote secure sites or last minute visitors since no server authentication is required. Because the administrator device has been paired to the terminal or proximity reader a portion of the imkey code contains details of the issuing device that is required for security verification. When the client/user transacts on the terminal or proximity reader the cellular number as well as other details of both the issuing and client smartphone is contained in the authentication log.

UNIS V4.0 Command and Control software contains the ability to issue MobileKey from either the user management console or the visitor management console. Batch issue of MobileKey is also possible. The advantage that UNIS V4.0 has over UNIS-B PLUS is that more data can be contained when issuing the MobileKey, i.e. user name, ID numbers, photos, access levels and restrictions etc. which makes for easier access control and log management. The UNIS visitor management console has the ability to recall previous visitors and a MobileKey can just be re-issued. No need for capture of details multiple times.

Whether MobileKey is issued from UNIS-B PLUS or from UNIS V4.0 it can take either the form of a permanent authentication key or of a temporary key that expires after a designated period of time. Current and expired MobileKey codes can then be managed from the UNIS V4.0 platform but not from UNIS-B PLUS.

For more information contact ViRDI Distribution, +27 (0)11 454 6006,,


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