SECURITY is an inherently conservative industry; however, new-found consumer confidence in advancing electronic access technology is driving exciting trends in the field. Readers, software and wireless systems are becoming more functional and secure and are gaining momentum in the market, particularly because much of this innovation can be easily incorporated into existing legacy access control systems.
Common legacy access control systems are becoming increasingly outdated and are failing to meet demands that a heightened level of security requires. The cost of expanding these systems to meet these growing requirements is forcing many businesses to compromise on security.
This no longer needs to be the case. Advances in wireless access control and the introduction of multi-platform readers mean that the technology used to upgrade legacy access control systems has become increasingly practical and cost effective for the end user.
As ASSA ABLOY Business Development Manager for Electronic Access Control, David Ward is experiencing this exciting trend first hand.
Mr Ward said “Aperio wireless access control locks were ASSA ABLOY’s top performer in the electronic access control division last year, achieving 200 per cent growth, a reflection of increased consumer faith in the new software and wireless capabilities.”
Aperio is a cutting edge technology developed to complement new and existing electronic access control systems, providing end users with simple, intelligent way to upgrade the controllability and the security level of their premises.
Aperio technology allows a mechanical lock to be wirelessly linked to an existing access control system and means additional doors can be easily and cost effectively added to the access control system.
“Security is generally a very conservative industry; it likes to wait for a product to prove itself, to trust it.” Mr Ward said.
When ASSA ABLOY launched Aperio five years ago, products were rolled out to niche markets such as heritage listed buildings, where wiring was difficult to install.
“Now, wireless is the fastest growing area in the access control space, eliminating the need for hard wiring and reducing labour and installation expenses,” Mr Ward said, adding that the latest technology had addressed previous concerns about battery life and forced door alarms.
Wireless solutions have assisted the keyless trend, and as a result, security and facility mangers now have greater control, can easily respond to organisational changes and only need to monitor a single security system, while users only require a single access control credential.
“We are experiencing this accelerating trend for keyless solutions with business and domestic customers, as it is functional and cost effective for the end user.
“It is not only in the traditional access control market we are seeing a growth in wireless access control, we are also seeing a rise in the number of systems being installed on data rack cabinets, lockers, cupboards and drawers, Mr Ward said.
According to Mr Ward, these developments are only the beginning and further expansions of reader technology are underway, driving the next step forward for the industry.
“Readers are going to mobile credentials but it is early days. Rather than having a card, secure credentials will operate on smart phones, through NFC (Near Field Communication) or Bluetooth. It is just a matter of time before it takes a foothold.”
Mr Ward is expecting the Bluetooth platform to be at the forefront of these future developments.
“A Bluetooth able phone will run an operating system for credentials, where a person will be able to walk within range, give their smart phone a ‘twist’ and it will unlock the door. Perhaps a person could be driving up to a gate, gesture with their smart phone and the gate would open. Technology takes a while to be trusted, like I said about wireless, it was launched five years ago and now it has gained confidence as a secure form of communication.”
Traditional legacy access control systems are becoming impractical and outdated, particularly in the commercial security environment, where issues with entry and exit points can decrease business productivity and safety. A security market desperate for an alternative has resulted in accelerated advances in wireless solutions, which can be easily incorporated into old legacy systems. Improved functionality and security also means the industry is experiencing a growing trend in the number of consumers confident in rejuvenating old systems, with wireless technology. Wireless compatible hardware is quickly installed and the software can be inexpensively upgraded to keep up with new demands and authorisation credentials.