Mobile Access Vendors – Smartphones in Access Control
It has been a trend in the security industry for a number of years now: using smartphones in access control. In an earlier video we talked about whether smartphones would take the place of good old access control cards. The advantages of using virtual access control cards, which are stored on smartphones, are obvious: less logistics when distributing, revoking or replacing cards and many more ways to integrate with technology on the phone or other hosts and devices in the network. Often also the user experience of mentioned as a benefit of mobile access: users do not have to fill up their wallets with a pile of RFID cards but can conveniently carry them around in their phone.
The networking capacity of smartphones would even be a great way to overcome the limitations of offline access control installations where access rights would be stored on smartphones in stead of cards. But we also concluded that physical access cards will remain to be part of access control solutions in the years ahead of us because of their conceptual simplicity and the high level of control that they offer to system owners when it comes to topics like maintenance, incident management and security.
The majority of mobile access control installations can be found in hotels. But also sites like universities and corporate estates have been equipped with systems that support the use of a smartphone as a security credential.
But if you are looking mobile access vendors that can support you to build your best-of-breed access control solution, who are are currently available? To help you on your way we have made a shortlist of vendors that currently are strong advocates of mobile access in our global security industry and that all offer a similar system topology: apps with credentials, a server system for administration and readers that support BLE and/or NFC.
HID Global and mother company Assa Abloy have been at the forefront of this category since it’s inception some years ago and they have executed a relatively large number of projects worldwide. HID Global positions it’s HID Mobile Access solution as an enabler for employees to use “their smartphone, tablet or wearable to access doors, gates, networks and more.”
HID Mobile Access uses ‘Seos’ the credential management technology that HID also uses throughout the rest of their portfolio.
Besides experience (which matters greatly when dealing with advanced but volatile technology like smartphones, BLE, etc.) some strong-points are the support of intuitive “Tap” and “Twist and Go” gestures and the availability of multi-technology readers
STid Electronic Identification
French company STid has been offering its STid Mobile ID Solution for a number of years as well. They have a complete portfolio to build a well working mobile access control solution. On their website they highlight that:
98% of employees consider the access control as a constraint.
20% of companies will use mobile access control by 2020.
70% of employees use their smartphone in the workplace.
Which seem convincing figures to take the mobile access trend seriously.
Some interesting elements in the portfolio of STid are the fact that they offer an offline solution for clients that do not wish to send credentials over public networks. And their readers have a very modular setup, not only technological but also when it comes to appearance.
The mobile access solution of dormakaba is powered by Legic Connect. On their website can be read: “Mobile Access Solutions offers a state-of-the-art technology to securely issue, revoke and update digital credentials on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches. Using best-in-class Legic Connect cloud technology, these credentials can be used across Kaba’s line of RFID and BLE access control products to access hotel rooms, residential units, university accommodations and other protected facilities such as laboratories, server rooms, remote utilities and commercial buildings.”
dormakaba has been positioning it’s solution mainly in the Leisure sector and have strong footprint there. Legic has been positioning it’s cloud based mobile access engine as a high-end and very secure solution that meets the tough criteria of security standards.
Spanish company SALTO is best known for it’s popular offline access control solutions that are installed in airports, hotels, universities and office building around the globe.
According to the company with SALTO’s JustIN technology smartphones can be integrated conveniently and beneficially into access control solutions. In SALTO’s offline access control solution there usually are a few online readers that perform a role as ‘update terminal’: they update changes in blacklists and access rights on cards that are presented to that reader. In a JustIN system the phone can be used as an update terminal using NFC.
SALTO’s solution already is capable of sending access control rights over the air (OTA) to smartphones.
There are more companies that use the strong Legic Connect engine to builde mobile access solutions. One of them is Californian company Farpointe Data that specializes in readers and credentials.
Conekt is Farpointe Data’s mobile smartphone access control ID solution. It consists of a smartphone wallet app, mobile and physical credentials and multi-technology Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) smartcard readers.
More companies have released mobile access control solutions. We would advise to look at experience they have with real-world deployments of their systems and the capability to keep their portfolio up-to-date and supportive of ever-changing and emerging technological standards.
Any security technology has its merits and its attention points. That certainly applies to mobile access technology as well. Feel free to contact us if you are in need of more information or would like to contribute to the SecIndGroup.com portal.