Dell laptops RFID reader type and apps?

hello, i am new to RFID and implants, i have been looking for a way to have an implant RFID device that when i move away from my laptop it will immediately lock the laptop, requiring me to enter my password when i am back within range of the RFID reader. i have read the support forums and see that it may be possible, but here are my questions:

  1. how do i figure out what type of RFID device will the dell laptop read?

  2. are there known apps that will work with the RFID implant and the Dell reader?

  3. how would i go about finding them?

  4. if so, does the application lock the laptop when my RFID device moves out of range regardless of the keyboard/mouse is being used? (a forced lock, useful in a theft grab and run scenario)

thank you for your time and i apologize if i missed this being answered previously


  1. It’s likely a 13.56mhz ISO14443A scanner. these can typically be used with contactless smart cards. We are working on one such implantable devices called VivoKey. Your best bet though is to dive into the user manual or spec sheet for the laptop. What is the exact model number from the nifty sticker on the back? You should be able to determine the reader type from the website. Dell also uses a “service tag” ID specific to that exact laptop, which can be used to pull up specs.

  2. no idea

  3. no idea

  4. maybe, but for an implant, no. there may be a way to make the laptop lock when a tag is removed… I’ve seen this before so I know it’s possible… however, contactless RFID technology is extremely short range, and the auto-lock feature is designed for use with an RFID card… something you can place directly overtop the reader and leave there. Once the card is even slightly removed from the reader (a few millimeters), it will lose contact and the laptop will lock. This doesn’t work well for an implant, unless you like leaving your hand in an uncomfortable position directly overtop the reader the whole time you’re using the laptop.

The reason for this short range is that RFID is a passive magnetically coupled technology. It depends on the tag magnetically coupling with the field being generated by the reader. It does not transmit anything like Bluetooth or cell phones or FRS radios or broadcast tv/radio stations do.

So this looks interesting…

I may have to get me one of these Dell laptops, especially if I can use VivoKey with it.

1 Like

i just found this on the HID website for dell laptops, so it does look like it is a 13.56mhz signal.

it is a dell Latitude E6530

There are two types of contactless cards typically used for physical access control:
• The 125 kHz proximity card is widely used for physical access control. It is a read only card and
does not work with the embedded contactless smart card reader offered by Dell. If you are
using this type of card for physical access control, HID and Dell can assist in the use of this card
with peripheral readers. Or, we can help you to seamlessly upgrade to a multi-technology
card. This card will allow users to leverage their existing investment in the physical access control
system while upgrading to new applications.

• The 13.56 MHz contactless smart card is also used for physical access control and other applications
such as cashless payment and transit. It is a read / write card and does work with the embedded
contactless smart card reader offered as an option by Dell. iCLASS
® by HID is the most commonly used contactless smart card for physical access control.

also found this link that has a wealth of info about the dell contactless reader…

1 Like

Interesting. I’m considering getting a Dell Latitude 5580 with smart card reader. Talking to support now about the smart card features. If anything progresses I’ll update the forum.

“The Latitude 5580 offers multiple security options to meet your diverse security needs. Features include essential multi-factor authentication hardware such as touch fingerprint reader, contacted FIPS 201 Smart Card Reader and Contactless Smart Card Reader NFC with Control Vault 2™ Fips 140-2 Level 3 Certification to prevent unauthorized access.”

The fact it says “NFC” would seem to indicate it’s a 13.56mhz platform, which is what was expected. However, so many marketers toss around the term NFC in situations where it’s clearly not NFC technology… so who knows.

1 Like

I’m posting PDFs of a few pages from that blog and some lost links I reconnected… almost all his links are broken now and I want to save the data just in case his posts or blog disappears…

Dell embedded contactless smartcard reader.pdf (317.7 KB)

How to enable PC_SC support for Dell Contactless Reader.pdf (52.5 KB)

Dell E-Family PBA Enrollment Application Notes AN0124.pdf (1.2 MB)

Dell E-Family PBA Enrollment Application Notes AN0141.pdf (1.1 MB)

Ok after more digging and a chat with Dell support, the only “secure” card supported by the Dell laptop for the pre-boot authentication is the HID iClass, which is not secure (it’s been cracked). All other tag types supported just use the UID number which is completely insecure.

One saving grace may be that once booted to the OS, it may be possible to use the PC/SC mode of the reader to use 3rd party data crypto programs to secure your data, but it would have been really nice to be able to secure boot and encrypt the entire laptop with strong PKI crypto with VivoKey… too bad. :frowning:

1 Like

update: i was able to get a hold of a “HID iClass Px G8Y” contact-less card and was able to present it to my dell latitude E6530 to set it as a way to logon, it works. the HID website says that the iclass is 13.56mhz. also the card needs to be about 1/4 of an inch or less for it to be able to read it, so my original thoughts of using an implant to force lock my computer when my hand is moved away will not work as desired. guess i can look at using the implant to unlock the computer at boot up and use something like bluetooth pairing with my phone to force lock the laptop.

yeah using another method to perform the locking is a good idea. there are even cam apps that will lock when your face moves out of frame for N seconds… but I think a hot key combo might be the best option… hell, if it’s windows CTRL-ALT-DEL and a quick tap on the enter key will do it too.

true that would work but would not fulfill the one desired option of protecting against a “snatch and run” in the event i was working on my laptop and someone caused a diversion or such and took off with my laptop in the unlocked state, they would just need to keep it that way long enough to get away and change the settings so that they had free run of the system. hence the desire to have a proximity device to force the locking of the computer, that coupled with HD encryption and pre-boot auth, should make the laptop fairly secure, short of NSA or torture…

Hmm yeah… the webcam face lock thing would protect against snatch and run, as would bluetooth pairing with your phone… any other ideas for auto-locking? Maybe even movement sensors? Macbooks have a “sudden movement sensor” in them… maybe that could be used to detect any serious movement and auto-lock.

The task you want to do is interesting but i would suggest you before choosing RFID card for device please do comparison of features of both as it increase performance efficiency. You may also ask Dell Community for help. Optional but here is Dell Latitude E6530 Manual for help if needed while undergoing this process.