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.

Sorry to revive that old thread, but that door handle looks interesting. So from @GrimEcho’s sentence above, I deduce:

  • The Ultraloq UL1 works with implants - at least Mifare Classic and Ultralight
  • It probably only reads the UID to identify the chip (usually a lock that works with more than one kind of chip is a good indication, and the Ultralight doesn’t have crypto)

Does anybody own an Ultraloq UL1 door handle? Can you confirm?

You are correct on both counts. I can’t confirm 100% that it works with the Mifare as I don’t have the chip, but from the specs it should. The Mifare can emulate a full Ultralight AID, and as you said, the chip reader in the Ultraloq only cares about UID.

I’ve had the Ultraloq UL1 combo for over a year now and absolutely love it. While Ultraloq still makes and sells them, the company is moving away from RFID it seems, which is a shame (fyi, if you ask, the company says the UL1 won’t work with Ultralights, but it clearly does).

I’ve only had to change the batteries a couple of times, and now that I have my hand/chip position ingrained as muscle memory (took a couple of months), I can unlock the door almost without looking. Once in a while when it gets really cold, or if I’m dehydrated, it will take more than one try, but that’s rare.

I also purchased the bridge, which is a small pluggable device that lets you connect the lever to a WiFi network via Bluetooth. When it works, its nice, but it is super flaky. Often have to restart the Android app multiple times to pull up the user management screen or view the unlock logs over WiFi. If I purchase another combo, I won’t get the bridge next time. You can still view logs and add/remove users via the app over a Bluetooth connection.

The lock has been very sturdy, and the sync between the lever and the deadbolt almost perfect. After I changed the batteries four or five months ago, I had to reset the deadbolt, but other than that, perfect.

The fingerprint reader on the handle works ok, but is not as reliable as RFID. What I really like about the lock is that it is super easy to enroll a new RFID key using the app. I purchases a 20 pack of small Ultralight tags from Amazon for $8 and I use them when I need to give a temporary key to someone (dog walker, family, friend, contractor, etc). They are so cheap and easy to activate/deactivate that I don’t care if they get lost, cloned, etc.

Only downside is the price. I’d love to buy a few more and replace more locks with them, but at $370 for the combo, its a little too expensive to justify on other doors.


Wow, thanks for the very thorough review!

Well, I can justify the expense in the sense that I may have no choice: I need to replace the handles on a Scandinavian-standard door to a bike shed that is shared by half the employees in my company. I can’t change the lock itself because the keys to it have been issued to the employees by the manager, and is also used on the main door.

The door lock is peculiar in that, if the nib is in the unlocked position, you can open the door with the handle without a key naturally, but you can also insert the key and open the door without the handle.

So my idea is to find a suitable NFC-enabled replacement handle, and propose my boss that I install it on the door for my use only, to get into the bike shed with my implant (he knows about it and my quest to go keyless :slight_smile:), and everybody else can keep using the key to open the door.

The only question left is whether a US door handle fits a scandinavian door (size of the square spindle, and diameter of the through-hole in the mortise to let the two mounting screws through). But at least now, thanks to your review, I know the Ultraloq L1 would work with my implant, and that’s a great start!

You’re welcome, and good luck on the lock sizing.

For reference, here’s a link to my initial review after getting and installing the lock:

Going to revive this thread as a story of the Ultraloq just came across my feed. Seems there was a security problem giving access to ekeys. It has been fixed but users should be aware and update.