Choosing an RFID Deadbolt


I need to buy a new deadbolt soon and would like to get one that is compatible with RFID. I’m planning to get a vivokey implant sometime next year once I find somebody that could do the procedure and would like to use it with the RFID deadbolt. I currently have a medeco deadbolt. Is the Samsung SHP-DS510 the best option?


For an RFID door lock, I would recommend the Ultraloq line of locks from U-TEC. Specifically, the Ultraloq combo which includes both the UL1 handle and the Ultraloq Deadbolt. I’ve had the combo for a few weeks now and really like it. Install was fairly easy, and if you are replacing a newish lock, it can be done in thirty minutes or so. I had to widen my deadbolt hole since I had an older door, but that was also fairly easy.

You mentioned that you were looking for a deadbolt. If you need only a deadbolt and can’t or won’t replace the lower handle, then the Ultraloq won’t work. The Ultraloq deadbolt works in conjunction with the UL1 lever. The lever contains all of the sensors and transceivers (fingerprint, RFID, Bluetooth). The inner handle communicates with the deadbolt to lock or unlock it. The lock has a simple app that is used to register people, assign fingerprints and RFID codes, and can also unlock the door. The lock itself seems sturdy and at least as difficult (if not more) to force open than a standard lock.

The UL1 lever comes with three RFID key-fobs. These fobs read as third-party Mifare Classic chips. However. the lock does work with Mifare Ultralight chips, such as the NTAG 216 which is the chip inside the xNT and flexNT products.

The upcoming Vivokey uses a new NXP chip that is capable of running JavaCard applets (among other things). The chip in the Vivokey wasn’t designed for basic access control, and probably will not work with the Ultraloq or really any lock out of the box. The chip in the Vivokey can emulate other Mifare chips, including the Mifare Classic, but until we get our hands on the chips, I don’t know how well this will work, or what will be required to get it set up. The issue with the Vivokey not working out of the box with smart locks and other access control systems is that when presented with an RFID field, the Vivokey may not automatically provide its UUID in a way the lock or ACS recognizes. Instead, the Vivokey will use AIDs (Application Identifiers) to communicate and may expect that the reader sends a special AID or another command to select the app that the Vivokey should access and use.

Honestly, it is doubtful that there will ever be much support for the off-the-shelf locks and control systems being able to work with the Vivokey. While it is definitely possible and likely that people will develop their own firmware for specific locks, I don’t think it will ever be distributed. The Vivokey is not really designed for that.

My recommendation would be to get an xNT implanted in the standard location with a 10-minute procedure and use it for locks and other ACS systems, then also get the Vivokey installed in the arm once it is released. The read range on the Ultraloq with the xNT is descent. Not great, but good enough that it generally takes an average of two or three tries to open my door (which is still much around 300% faster than using keys). It does look a little funny, as I basically bash my hand against the edge of the fingerprint reader a couple of times. The flexNT would have much better range, likely even requiring direct contact, but of course, the install is more involved.