Access control readers - Expert commentary

Wireless technology is transforming motion detection
Wireless technology is transforming motion detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.

The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020
The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020

The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.

Entrance control vs access control: similarities and differences
Entrance control vs access control: similarities and differences

Entrance control and access control - of the physical kind - are common terms in the security industry which are often used interchangeably, but should they be? Having worked both sides of the fence, with previous roles at TDSi and HID and now the Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited, Tony Smith highlights the subtle but important differences between these two terms and the systems they refer to, outlining how they should work together to achieve optimal security. Access control is a system which provides discriminating authentication Access control provides a discriminating authentication process and comprises the software or hardware that defines the criteria for acceptance or denial Used to describe a system which performs identification of users and authentication of their credentials (deciding whether or not the bearer of those credentials is permitted admission) access control is an incredibly broad term. Access control provides a discriminating authentication process and comprises the software or hardware that defines the criteria for acceptance or denial of an individual to a restricted area. Entrance control – such as security turnstiles - takes the output of that validation and has the capability to see whether that criteria is being adhered to, either granting or denying access as appropriate. Entrance control is the hardware responsible for keeping people honest If access control verifies authorised personnel using their credentials – their face, fingerprints, PIN number, fob, key card etc – and decides whether or not they are permitted access, entrance control is the hardware which enforces that decision by making users present their credentials in the correct way, either opening to allow pedestrian access or remaining closed to bar entry and potentially raising an alarm. For example, a card reader acts as an access control device, recognising the card holder as having the correct permissions and saying ‘yes, this person can pass’. But, it’s the entrance control system – a turnstile, for example – which actually physically allows or denies access. Physical access and video surveillance Some entrance control systems don’t feature a physical barrier, however. Fastlane Optical turnstiles will not physically stop an unauthorised person from passing through, and instead alarm when someone fails to present valid credentials, alerting security staff that a breach has occurred. These kinds of turnstiles are suited to environments which just need to delineate between the public and secure side of an entrance, with less need to physically prevent unauthorised users from entering. State of the art access control integrations have been installed for award-winning complex, The Bower It’s also possible to capture video footage of any incidents, allowing security personnel to identify users failing to abide by the access control system’s rules, using It’s also possible to capture video footage of incidents, allowing security personnel to identify users failing to abide by access control system rules the footage to decide on the level of response required. The breach could have been the result of a member of staff being in a hurry and failing to show their card before passing through, in which case they can be reminded about the security protocol. Or, it could be an unidentified person who needs to be escorted from the premises. Entrance control and access control working together For optimum security, access control and entrance control should work together, with the entrance control system enhancing the use of the access control system, making it more efficient and better value for money. The two can’t effectively operate without each other. Security turnstiles, for example, require something to tell them that someone is about to enter – the access control system does this – and, the access control system needs a method of stopping people when they don’t badge in correctly. The two systems are complementary.

Latest Johnson Controls, Inc. news

PSIA appoints Johnson Controls’ Jason Ouellette as Chairman and LenelS2’s Ewa Pigna as Vice Chairman
PSIA appoints Johnson Controls’ Jason Ouellette as Chairman and LenelS2’s Ewa Pigna as Vice Chairman

The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has announced that it has elected Jason Ouellette, as its Chairman and Ewa Pigna, the Chief Technology Officer for LenelS2, a part of Carrier Global Corporation, as its Vice Chairman. Standards-based digital data In addition, Peter Boriskin, the Chief Technology Officer for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas, will continue in his role as the organisation’s Treasurer. The PSIA membership develops specifications for enabling standards-based sharing of digital data and intelligence throughout the physical security and enterprise ecosystems. “Jason and Ewa are long-standing Board members with strong technology, commercial, and industry leadership skills,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director at the PSIA, adding “They and their companies have been important advocates for open standards in the physical security industry and also active proponents for the PSIA’s access control specification - PLAI.”  Identifying new and enhanced PSIA specifications Open standards are critical to large scale deployments and solving complex enterprise problems" As PSIA Chairman, Jason Ouellette will work closely with the PSIA board to expand membership, commercialise its specifications, and identify industry needs for new and enhanced PSIA specifications. “Open standards are critical to large scale deployments and solving complex enterprise problems,” noted Jason. He adds, “With that in mind, I truly see the value that PSIA and PLAI bring to the security industry where multiple Physical Access Control Systems, Biometric solutions, and other integrations exist in the market. The PLAI specification provides a means for reducing complexity and cost in these environments with the application of open standards which provide a method to share personnel, credentials, and biometrics in a way that respects PII and security concerns.” Defining the technical aspects of PLAI Ewa Pigna’s role as PSIA Vice Chairman will include defining the technical aspects of PLAI necessary to make this an effective commercial standard. This will include enhancing and promoting the PLAI specification in order to assure industry compliance and interoperability. “My involvement with PSIA and promotion of physical security standards is focused on delivering solutions to our customers that derive value from integration and interoperability,” said Ewa Pigna, adding “Our mission is to simplify the complex world of disparate systems and enable technical information sharing for more holistic decision making.” Access and video security products expert At Johnson Controls, Jason Ouellette serves as the Lead of Technology Business Development, for its access and video security products group. He is based at the company’s Westford, Massachusetts office. Ouellette, joined Tyco International in April 1999, and has served as a Customer Support Specialist, Software Engineer, Engineering Manager, Director of R&D for the American Dynamics Intellex products and Software House access control products, and as Director of Product Management for the global access control business. In 2017, after Tyco merged with Johnson Controls, Jason was promoted to Product General Manager for access control. In 2019, he served as General Manager for direct to channel access & video products. U.S. Air Force veteran Pigna held senior management positions at GE Security, prior to her current role at LenelS2 Prior to this, he served in the U.S. Air Force, from 1989 to 1996, as a Medical Laboratory Specialist and later as a Computer Implementation Specialist. Ouellette also held positions at CDSI, and SAIC in development and network roles, before coming to Tyco International. At LenelS2, Ewa Pigna serves as the Chief Technology Officer. She started her career at IBM in Boca Raton, Florida, where she was a Software Engineer in the robotics group. Pigna held senior management positions at GE Security, prior to her current role at LenelS2. She holds a BS degree in computer science and mathematics from UCLA. Security technology and enterprise security expert At ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, Peter Boriskin, is the Chief Technology Officer, leading the Americas innovation team. He has over twenty years’ experience working with security technology and enterprise security. In his previous roles, he was the Product Management Leader for UTC Fire & Security in their Lenel business and the Vice President of Product Management for Tyco International’s access control and video systems division. Prior to joining Tyco International, Peter founded a networking company, where he was Owner and President. He is regularly quoted in industry publications and has authored numerous articles on physical security. He holds a BA degree from Brandeis University.

Johnson Controls launches Tyco Illustra Insight access management solution for work environment
Johnson Controls launches Tyco Illustra Insight access management solution for work environment

Johnson Controls, the pioneer for smart and sustainable buildings, launches Tyco Illustra Insight, an intelligent frictionless access management solution for work environments where there is a requirement for a high level of security without disrupting the constant flow of employees, contractors and visitors. The solution offers an unobtrusive, stress free way for authorised people to smoothly move around buildings, places and spaces, and yet provides security personnel with a highly effective solution for controlling and visually verifying who has access to restricted areas. Facial recognition camera The cameras can be deployed at the optimal height of five to six feet for facial recognition Enabled by artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms, Tyco Illustra Insight combines the functionality of access control management software and a facial recognition camera to simultaneously recognise multiple people as they approach an entrance. The device’s integrated LEDs, combined with audible ‘Welcome/Deny’ messaging ensure employees, contractors and visitors intuitively know if they are authorised to enter an area. Anti-spoofing technology utilises two lenses and a combination of IR and RGB video to distinguish between an actual person and a printed image or video of them. Faces can be accurately detected from up to three meters away, with simultaneous multi-face processing in less than one second, improving the flow of approved users. The cameras can be deployed at the optimal height of five to six feet for facial recognition within a wide field of view and varying heights, including wheelchair and taller users. Security sensitive areas “The range of applications where our new technology will be able to significantly contribute to enhancing a safer working environment is extremely wide and varied,” said Rafael Schrijvers, Access Control Product Management, Security Products, Johnson Controls. “In healthcare and cleanroom environments, Tyco Illustra Insight removes the need for access control cards or buttons to be pushed, both of which are highly relevant to our customers amid the pandemic and beyond.” At airports it negates the risk of card sharing and tailgating into security sensitive areas. In addition to facial recognition, Illustra Insight can flag persons of interest for an integrated access control system to action; for instance, generating an alert when a VIP is identified. Video surveillance technologies OpenBlue was designed with agility, flexibility and scalability in mind Installers and system integrators will no doubt find many other imaginative ways in which this innovative combination of access control and video surveillance technologies, enabled by artificial intelligence, can deliver real-life benefits to their end-user clients. Tyco Illustra Insight is part of the OpenBlue dynamic platform from Johnson Controls which, through its OpenBlue Healthy Buildings set of solutions, provides access to technology, such as smart equipment, infection control, contact tracing and social distance monitoring and other connected devices to make shared spaces safer, agile and more sustainable. OpenBlue was designed with agility, flexibility and scalability in mind to enable buildings to become dynamic spaces for customers that deliver environments that have memory, intelligence and unique identity. Access control system Although designed for seamless integration with Johnson Controls access control brands, the Tyco Illustra Insight solution can also be interconnected to any access control system with on-board traditional and modern wiring protocols. Additional features include: Sleek form factor with full colour customisable LED light ring and configurable audible messages maintain an inviting environment with intuitive visual and audible responses for visitors and employees. The unique two-piece design of Tyco Illustra Insight ensures that the network interface is in a safe, protected area, with encrypted protocols used to ensure secure communications between the Tyco Illustra Insight camera head and the Insight control unit. Tyco Illustra Insight has been engineered in line with the Johnson Controls OpenBlue Cyber Solutions Product Security Program, designed to minimise the possibility of introducing vulnerabilities into electronic security solutions. Tyco Illustra Insight’s light ring and the option to record personalised greetings in a number of different languages are just two ways in which design engineers have endeavoured to create a unique user experience which enhances the device’s ability to facilitate the free flow of people and set a new standard for automated video and access control.

Johnson Controls announces four new models to its Tyco Illustra Essentials IP camera range
Johnson Controls announces four new models to its Tyco Illustra Essentials IP camera range

Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, has added four new models to its Tyco Illustra Essentials IP camera range. The new fourth generation Essentials mini-dome, varifocal mini-dome, bullet, and varifocal bullet cameras, which supersede their respective older models, are all equipped with built-in adaptive IR illumination which enables them to capture up to two megapixel HD resolution images of objects in total darkness up to a distance of 30m (98ft). The NDAA compliant, IP67 rated cameras provide protection against everyday elements such as dust and water and offer enhanced H.265 video compression. To aid ease of setup all Essentials Gen4 models support one-touch auto-focus and the varifocal models provide motorized zoom. Quality and simplicity These keenly priced Essential cameras provide a cost-effective option for applications of any size" “These keenly priced Essential cameras provide a cost-effective option for applications of any size, but they are particularly ideal for budget conscious end-users who have a requirement for a large number of cameras,” said Ric Wilton, director of product management for Illustra. “As you would expect from Tyco Illustra, we have not compromised on the build quality of these new models and although they are offered at a low price point, they are packed with much more than just the bare essential features needed to capture high quality images of any event, incident or suspicious activity.” Key features The four new cameras have true day/night functionality with a removable infrared cut filter (ICR), which enables them to operate effectively in low light conditions. They are also able to take advantage of ‘pixel by pixel’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology to deliver clear images captured from scenes which might contain bright and dark areas, such as the entrances to retail stores. Support for H.264 and H.265 compression formats allows up to three simultaneous video streams to be efficiently transmitted at up to thirty frames per second, while a corridor mode provides an efficient and effective method of monitoring narrow areas, such as hallways, shopping aisles and tunnels, and results in lower bandwidth and storage requirements. Power over Ethernet (PoE) support Recorded video can be retrieved from an SDXC card when the connection is restored Other key features include Power over Ethernet (PoE) support which avoids the need to provide separate power supplies and cabling for each camera. A micro SDXC memory slot allows up to 256GB video or data to be stored at the edge if there is a loss of connection to the network. Recorded video can be retrieved from an SDXC card when the connection is restored. Additions to the Essentials camera range The four new additions to the Essentials camera range are as follows: Essentials IP Mini-Dome with 2.8mm fixed lens. IK10 vandal resistant and IP67 level protection against dust and water Essentials Varifocal IP Mini-Dome with 2.7-13.5mm varifocal lens. IK10 and IP67. Essentials IP Bullet camera with 2.8mm fixed lens. IP67 Essentials Varifocal IP Bullet camera with 2.7-13.5mm varifocal lens. IP67Flexibility to choose between overview and detailed images for each stream Cyber security: All Tyco Illustra cameras are covered by the Johnson Controls, Cyber Solutions Product Security Program which has been introduced to give all parties in the supply chain the confidence that Johnson Controls has minimised the possibility of introducing vulnerabilities into its Tyco branded electronic security solutions.

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