Access control readers - Expert commentary

Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change
Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

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.

Latest Bosch Security Systems news

Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing
Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing

The latest release of ‘Intelligent Insights’ from Bosch offers a software widget update that supports safe social distancing. Intelligent Insights is an ‘AIoT’ video software solution – which combines the connectivity of physical products with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) – that gives customers the power to predict based on live and historical data. Intelligent Insights taps data from Bosch video cameras with built-in AI and pulls it into a single dashboard to support informed decision-making before a potential situation occurs. Minimising coronavirus spread One of the most notable changes caused by the current pandemic is social distancing. Maintaining a precise distance and upholding a maximum threshold of people in gathering areas such as workplaces, shopping centers, and train stations has become critical to minimise coronavirus spread (COVID-19). In light of the challenges imposed by this situation, Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update. Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update The new Area fill level traffic light widget offers an intuitive graphical interface that helps users comply with social distancing regulations. The widget visualises the current and maximum number of people allowed in a particular area at a specific time. It illustrates three different states – normal, serious, and critical – as green, yellow, or red, along with corresponding info text, so the user instantly knows when to take action. Traffic light widget Users can opt to live stream the Area fill level traffic light widget on a monitor at an entrance to a supermarket or grocery store, for example, to inform customers whether they may enter the store. When a threshold is reached, the widget can activate and trigger a connected device that will inform visitors with a public announcement, simple alert, or message displayed on a monitor. Intelligent Insights uses built-in AI from Bosch cameras to interpret video images and captures camera metadata from situations involving moving objects, people counting, and crowd detection. The software tool then collects, aggregates, and displays this information using a series of pre-defined widgets enabling users to visualise and evaluate a complete scene from a simple overview screen. Intelligence beyond security Users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations The dashboard enables users to quickly understand what they see, which helps them respond before a potential situation occurs and delivers business intelligence beyond security. For detailed post-analysis and to help users adjust and alter future actions, Intelligent Insights offers a report function. Intelligent Insights comes with a series of intuitive dashboard widgets that enable users to evaluate a complete scene to support security, safety, and well-being in varying applications. Depending on the application, users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations or uncover new opportunities. Object positioning widget Area fill level, Occupancy counting, and Crowd detection offer the ability to monitor and detect crowds accurately and count individuals and objects. The user can specify the desired occupancy rate of an area by determining the maximum number of people allowed to be in that area within a given time. Intelligent Insights also offers Object counting and People counting to count objects or people accurately such as when entering or leaving a building. These widgets help identify peak and low times on specific days or over an extended period. Intelligent Insights uses only anonymous data from cameras, ensuring people’s privacy is protected at all times. With the Object positioning widget, users can get a real-time overview of all objects moving in a specific area. Based on their GPS position, which can be determined by cameras that feature built-in AI, the objects are plotted onto a map and classified with icons. Video management system Intelligent Insights, an AIoT video software solution from Bosch, supports social distancing regulations, helps customers respond before a potential situation occurs, and delivers business intelligence beyond security. Intelligent Insights is not only a powerful standalone software package but also designed for seamless integration with other software solutions like the video management system of Bosch (BVMS).

Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system
Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system

Situated near the picturesque small town of Soliera in northern Italy, the dairy plant of Italian food company Granarolo is anything but small: More than 600 farmers, 70 trucks for the collection of milk and 720 vehicles handle 850,000 tons of milk every year. Its dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and lately also ham and pasta, supply several million Italian families every day. The plant’s huge production capacity is reflected in the size of the perimeter: The Soliera facility stretches out over 45,000 square metres. Furthermore, it is located near a wooded land which is important when it comes to designing a security system aimed at protecting the plant against intrusion. Video surveillance system Granarolo wanted to replace an old analogue video surveillance system by a digital one as its security challenges exceeded the limits of the old installation. The project posed several challenges. The most significant being the vast area of the factory itself, as well as the location of the perimeter near an area that can only be poorly overseen. Since the factory is located in a heavily wooded area, building an appropriate video security system is more challenging because it needs to be safeguarded against false alarms, triggered by ever-changing lights, shadows and the constant movement of trees and plants. Tackling these challenges, Naples-based Bosch partner Gruppo Sirio worked out the modernisation of the plant’s security system, with Bosch cameras featuring built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) at the heart of the system. Detecting suspicious objects Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series With the help of the security cameras’ integrated video analytics, virtual lines were drawn around the area to be protected against intrusion. When these lines are crossed by intruders, the programmed rules automatically generate alarms, alerting on-site security personnel to intervene. Whether the cameras are tasked with detecting suspicious objects or unusual movements in daylight or night-time, constant surveillance with a special focus on sensitive areas ensures security. In total, Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series. The system, which is managed on one central platform, is completely autonomous and entirely separate from any other system or network in the plant. This ensures maximum security even in the event of potential failures of other systems on site. Perimeter protection solution As a result of the modernisation process, Granarolo can now rely on a system specifically designed for its needs. The newly established, digital video surveillance and perimeter protection solution supports the security personnel in maintaining maximum levels of security through the entire area. It also guarantees that food safety standards in the protected facility are guarded against outside influences. Ultimately, the system allows the staff to fully focus on keeping the production running at all times, thereby contributing to secure the sensitive chain of the Italian food supply against interruptions.

Bosch Security Systems unveil version 4.8 of its Building Integration System to enable a safe and contactless access control environment
Bosch Security Systems unveil version 4.8 of its Building Integration System to enable a safe and contactless access control environment

Bosch Security Systems has released version 4.8 of its Building Integration System (BIS) which offers safe, touchless access control solutions to curb the spread of viruses like Covid-19. Secure access control solution BIS 4.8 supports biometric and mobile device authentication and provides building managers enhanced integration of fire panels and intrusion panels to ensure the security of buildings. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused building operators to rethink their access control solutions In light of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, building operators need to rethink their access control solutions. Instead of systems that require physical touch and thereby increase the risk of virus transmission, contactless solutions that still meet the highest security guidelines are preferable. BIS 4.8, Building Integration System In response to these requirements, BIS 4.8 expands on the trusted features and benefits of version 4.7 to now work with three different touchless solutions that safeguard personal health: Face recognition - BIS 4.8 has been redesigned to work with the face recognition solution from Idemia. The face recognition device obtains a biometric scan from a safe distance and matches facial features with credentials in an encrypted database. Doors and gates open via the BIS Access Engine and the Bosch Access Modular Controller (AMC2). Touchless fingerprint readers - Integrated with Idemia’s Morphowave reader, BIS 4.8 controls access via a touchless fingerprint scan. A simple wave of the hand in front of the touchless sensor triggers a 3D scan of four fingers. Access rights are confirmed within less than one second by the system's fingerprint database for a clean and highly secure solution. Access via mobile phones - In conjunction with the mobile access control solutions from STid and HID, BIS 4.8 allows users to use their mobile phone instead of a card for access at the secure reader. For STid’s Mobile ID, the method requires a STid reader, while a Bosch Lectus secure reader works with HID’s Mobile Access solution. Users only need to install an app to verify access rights and use the safe, wireless technology. Aside from facilitating contactless access, all three solutions are also intuitive, quick and convenient compared to keycards and similar methods as there is no need to carry an access card or remember a password in order to gain entry to a building or area. Seamless fire and intrusion panel integration Combining BIS 4.8 with Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels unlock a new level of convenience Combining BIS 4.8 with Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels or MAP 5000 panels unlocks a new level of convenience. Users require only one authorisation badge to control two systems. Disarming areas of the intrusion system and granting access can be realised with the same badge on the same reader, without entering a PIN code for easy, one-step authorisation. Improved flexibility and efficiency With the introduction of version 4.8, BIS continues to unify the management of multiple security and safety domains and maximise flexibility for key customer requirements. New features include: Integration of the latest Bosch Avenar 2000 and 8000 fire panels and peripherals, along with command and control via BIS, with devices and status shown on maps, and events managed more intuitively via an alarm list. User authorisation for Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels are managed directly within BIS for up to 2,000 users on as many as 25 intrusion panels, instead of handling authorisations separately on each of the 25 panels. Central overview of all existing access and B and G Series intrusion authorisations for the complete installation within one system. With these updates, BIS 4.8 helps operators meet the health and safety demands of the new reality without compromising on functionality and security. As a centralised platform for operational building management, the new version of BIS offers greater convenience, flexibility, and efficiency.

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