After LEGIC licencing agreement, US-based RF IDeas presented new products at ASIS
After LEGIC licencing agreement, US-based RF IDeas presented new products at ASIS

LEGIC Identsystems Ltd, the worldwide developer and manufacturer of secure, contactless smart card technologies for personal identification applications, has announced it has partnered with United States based RF IDeas, Inc.  The leading provider of reader solutions for personal identification and access control will develop and manufacture cost efficient USB, RS-232 and Ethernet readers for a variety of access control applications for existing LEGIC customers.RF IDeas develops and manufactures contactless reader solutions that significantly expand functionality of building access cards to hundreds of further applications.  The applications include employee identification, computer and LAN access solutions, time/attendance, enrolment and more, all using existing contactless smart cards."What makes our partnership so exciting is the flexibility that RF IDeas brings to existing LEGIC's customers," stated Dr Otto Eggimann, Vice President Sales & Business Development of LEGIC.  "LEGIC's backward compatibility provides legacy customers the same ability as brand new customers to use their corporate credential for PC login from a proven leader.  RF IDeas' innovative and easy to use offering further enhances the LEGIC's application range especially for customers seeking to combine physical and logical access on the same credential.  We are very happy to welcome RF IDeas as a strong new partner in our expanding North American Partner network."RF IDeas will be producing readers for LEGIC's contactless smart card technology.  The RF IDeas reader AIR ID Enroll is a USB port based external reader of contactless smart cards for computer login access control.  It eliminates the need for manual entry and provides error-free identification.  AIR ID is compatible with LEGIC's 13.56 MHz contactless smart card technology and allows users to apply their building access card or other LEGIC identification and security tags/devices throughout the workplace."Adding LEGIC support to our AIR ID product line was effortless and the partnership allows us to address the current increase in demand in addition to expanding our reach into new markets," commented Rick Landuyt, CEO and President for RF IDeas, Inc.  "Including LEGIC based solutions in our offerings was an important advancement of our AIR ID product line."

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LEGIC sets standards for contactless smart card market
LEGIC sets standards for contactless smart card market

LEGIC Identsystems Ltd, the leading supplier of contactless smart card technologies for personal identification applications, has in 2007 set the standards for the contactless identification market through several product releases.  To name a few like the card-in-card solutions for third party Smart Cards and NFC phones, the Configurator-Soft- and Hardware CSW / CHW-2000, the ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip and also through the expansion of its LEGIC advant product line to battery powered applications.Explore contactless and secure multi-applications with the LEGIC all-in-one area on third party smart cardsLEGIC card-in-card solutions combine smart card micro-controllers with physical access and related multi-applications on one single smart card chip.  The core element is the LEGIC all-in-one area which is a multi-application space that behaves like all other LEGIC advant crypto transponders.  The LEGIC all-in-one area runs on contactless smart card micro-controllers provided by third parties.  Smart card micro-controllers are commonly used for applications including logical access to PC and networks (PKI), mobile phones, banking and public transport. LEGIC card-in-card extends these with physical access and related multi-applications leading to true all-in-one multi-application credentials.The LEGIC advant Configurator Hardware CHW-2000 is a universal desktop reader to initialise, write and read LEGIC credentialsThe robust desktop reader CHW-2000 is suitable especially to initialise and analyse LEGIC credentials.  Its design is optimised to hold various credential shapes like cards, keys and fobs, wristbands and watches, as well as mobile phones.  The CHW-2000 can be operated with the LEGIC Configurator Software CSW-2000, the LEGIC Development Kit Software DKS-2000 or alternative software available from a LEGIC partner.  The integrated LEGIC advant reader module can be easily upgraded through the USB interface.  Thus, new features are quickly available.The Configurator Software CSW-2000 is a helpful tool to configure and analyse applications on LEGIC credentialsWith the CSW-2000 segments can be defined and credentials can be initialised (e.g. as Master-Token or as user credential).  The configuration required for a project can be easily administrated.  The graphical user interface enables a quick analysis of credentials as well as the configuration of LEGIC advant reader modules.  The CSW-2000 can be operated together with the Configurator Hardware CHW-2000, the Development Kit DK-2000 or a LEGIC advant based reader from a LEGIC partner.New cost-effective LEGIC advant transponder chipThe ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip meets the need for a secure low-memory and cost-effective transponder in the 13.56 MHz area.  With a user memory of 128bytes - enough to typically house 3 applications - the new transponder is designed for basic access control and leisure applications such as event ticketing and leisure passes.  The ATC128-MV is a full member of the LEGIC advant product family and has the same high security and functionality level like all other LEGIC advant transponders. The ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip is fully compatible with the ISO 15693 standard.How to reduce maintenance costs significantly for off-line door locks with unique low-power functionBy expanding the reader chip functionality of its LEGIC advant product line to battery-powered applications, LEGIC now offers a cost-effective alternative for stand-alone contactless physical access.  Using a new and unique "low power" feature enables energy-efficient contactless door lock solutions.  Until now, such stand-alone solutions (which repetitively power-down and wake-up the lock/card reader, thus saving energy) required the installation of expensive and bulky mechanical switches or infrared sensors as an energy-saving alternative to the wired "always on" readers.  Beyond saving energy, this contactless solution is cost-effective (the simplified circuit reduces development and production costs) and can greatly extend battery life, under certain circumstances up to 200 times and thus reduce maintenance and servicing. LEGIC advant is LEGIC's most advanced product line for state-of-the art high security and multi-applications including access control, personal identification, biometrics, IT access compliant with ISO 15693, ISO 14443 and LEGIC RF standards.

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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 LEGIC Identsystems Ltd news

ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020
ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020

From buildings to vehicle fleets and enterprise networks to perimeter gates, having access control to let the right people in—while keeping everyone else out—is a security necessity. ELATEC, a global specialist in radio frequency identification (RFID) readers enabling user authentication for these and other access control applications, will introduce its latest new product the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at the ISC West Conference and Exhibition, to be held March 17-20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Physical access control applications The Palon is a powerful, multi-function reader optimised for physical access control applications. Unlike traditional RFID readers, Palon’s unique capabilities include: Flexible architecture and a robust, open API to support custom applications and unique functionality Supports encryption for security applications Quick and easy updating to support emerging market requirements, and done so either remotely or via a contactless configuration card Reads and writes all major transponder technologies globally—60+, including HID Global, LEGIC and NXP, and NFC and BLE mobile device technologies for use with smartphones. Highly customisable panel mount Palon’s compact OEM PCB module is designed for integration into third-party products and devices. And its attractive, highly customisable panel mount is ideal for use in PAC panels, elevators, parking systems, EV chargers, kiosks and more. To see Palon and ELATEC’s suite of offerings, visit ELATEC booth #23006. Visitors can also see Palon in the new product showcase at ISC West.

LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs
LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs

Correct configuration of readers in the field forms the basis of secure ID solutions. In the latest version of LEGIC Orbit, the option to restrict configuration data to specific reader ICs is a very powerful new feature. Versatile Configuration Packages LEGIC Orbit offers the possibility to transmit cryptographic keys and other configuration data from the management system securely to readers in the field. This works via so-called Versatile Configuration Packages (VCP), which are generated in a Hardware Security Module (HSM) and distributed to readers in the field via user’s smartphones or management system. With this new feature, you can now restrict the validity of each VCP to specific reader devices based on their chipID which uniquely identifies every LEGIC reader IC. This feature provides additional protection against abuse of configuration data and can help prevent configuration errors. Transmitting cryptographic keys For example, a cryptographic key for a specific building is generated in the secure LEGIC Orbit environment. Subsequent distribution of this key via VCP can now be restricted to readers installed only in that building. This feature makes it impossible to wrongly configure readers not belonging to that building.

LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware
LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware

With the OS50 firmware upgrade, several new features have been implemented to make the SM-6300 faster and even more powerful. New filter options in the search for Bluetooth devices enable the selection of specific devices, energy consumption is significantly reduced. Additionally, the generation of authorisation media for the LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control (MTSC) solution and the creation of LEGIC prime and advant segments on LEGIC smartcards are possible with the new SM-6300init. LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control solution The SEARCH command for LEGIC reader ICs offers an easy and efficient way to communicate with different devices. When using the Bluetooth Low Energy transparent mode of the SM-6300, there is a growing demand for a filtering capability to precisely select a device, as more and more Bluetooth devices are around. With the new OS50, there are now more filter options available, allowing the reader to specifically find Bluetooth Low Energy devices that advertise certain data. In previous firmware versions the SEARCH command executed sequentially for every technology which cost valuable time in the search for the various ID media and slowed down the opening process noticeably. With the new upgrade, the search for Bluetooth Low Energy devices can be started and continued in the background while simultaneously searching for RFID media. SM-6300 reader ICs One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers or other infrastructure components. Energy consumption is therefore essential and determines whether a solution is successful or not. If a reader design consumes less energy, the battery lasts longer, and maintenance costs are reduced. LEGIC has already introduced optimizations for energy consumption with enhancements to the sleep mode in September 2019. Since then, a reader can be woken up not just by inductive Wake Up, but also capacitive, with a timer or via GPIO. With the latest OS50 firmware upgrade, the SM-6300 is now also considerably more power-efficient when the IC is active. The improvements not only lead to a further reduction in energy consumption, but also significantly reduce the peaks in current consumption, which opens up new design possibilities. Generate authorisation media To allow MTSC users to generate authorisation media themselves, LEGIC reader ICs offer corresponding commands to create an authorisation medium from a Master-Token blank. Until now, the generation of authorisation media as well as the initialisation of advant and prime applications on LEGIC smartcards could only be done with the SM-4500. With the new SM-6300init, these commands are now also supported by the 6000 series. This means that all applications can now be covered with just one design based on the SM-6300init.

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