Cards. Codes. Fingerprints. Fobs. Hand geometry. Pins. Smartphones. Access control technology oﬀers so many diﬀerent options to open locks that choosing the best solution for your building security may seem harder than ﬁnding a key in a haystack!
Problems with keys are the primary reason people seek electronic locks. Too many keys issued. Lack of key control. Lost keys. Stolen keys. Frequent student or staﬀ turnover requiring rekeys…If your business, or building only has one or two main doors that require access control, a stand-alone, battery-operated, push-button lock, that is programmed at the door for multi-level access functions, eliminates constant rekeying and provides an economical security solution.
However, if there are multiple doors and multiple users, a networked access control system, wired or wireless, which can be programmed at a remote computer, will be easier to manage. Many electronic locks are upgradable to prevent the hardware investment from becoming obsolete as technology changes. Web-based systems that don’t require separate software programs, are preferred by a growing number of customers because they can be controlled from anywhere there is internet access, and because if computers are updated, there is no need to update the security system software, as long as you are using the same browser.
Some access control systems require a combination of credentials, like a proximity card and a PIN number. Biometric authentication, like ﬁngerprints, hand geometry, and facial recognition readers, are more diﬃcult to fake, but there are privacy and other issues that interfere with widespread acceptance. Prox cards are currently the most popular credentials, but smartphones are rapidly revolutionizing the access control industry! The adoption of the smartphone as an access credential is faster, and more dramatic, than any previous technology.
We Have an App for That!
Smartphones are not inhibited by expensive, proprietary hardware technology, like prox cards and readers, that aren’t compatible with all other cards and readers. The smartphone industry oﬀers an open environment that allows unrestricted, inexpensive, and easy development and invention of products on a wide variety of hardware plat-forms for a wide variety of uses. Touchscreen and keypad technology doesn’t require any explaining, so using smartphones as an access credential is simply adding functionality to a device most people already own, and are comfortable using. The list of advantages that smartphones oﬀer over cards, fobs and lock keypads goes on and on. Aside from longer read range, simple visitor access, and ultra-low power consumption, the most important advantage is that it is what the customer wants.
Access control software is ﬂexible and easy to manage. Scheduling, enrolling and deleting users, and audit trail reporting can be done in seconds. Technology advances, like remote programming, have improved both security and convenience.