Access control systems & kits - 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.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

Latest Linear LLC news

Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems
Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems

Significant upgrades to the e3 Series firmware were announced in the Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems. The new firmware updates employ the latest code technology to provide improved security and web services protection against the rise in cyber threats for businesses of all sizes. Giving end-customers and users the features most in demand, the upgrades to the Linear e3 Series also include improved encryption, smart reporting and card types access control functionality. Access control security “Commercial businesses of all sizes are acutely aware of need for increased access control security due to the growing sophistication of electronic intrusion capabilities,” said Richard Pugnier, Vice President of Marketing at NSC. “The new e3 Series firmware updates and feature enhancements allow our dealers to offer heightened security confidence to deter intruders while keeping employees and facilities safe using the latest technological advancements.” “After listening to our dealer partners, this firmware upgrade is the first of several planned that will help address ongoing commercial security and access control needs for organisations large and small,” said Mark Prowten, Director of Product Management for NSC’s Linear brand. Commercial access control systems The Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers" “With tens of thousands of systems installed, customers depend upon the proven managed access and convenience of our systems, and we remain committed to constantly improving our security technologies to guard against the growing list of internal as well as external threats. Plus, the Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers to offer market-leading capabilities along with added security peace-of-mind.” The scalable design of Linear e3 Series is specifically engineered to minimise future costs and help lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as organisational needs evolve and more functionality is needed. Based on a single hardware design, a single software code base and sophisticated integrated features, the Linear e3 Series can easily scale up to 128 doors. All Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems include the upgraded e3 Series firmware. Licence expansion capability Each is out-of-the-box ready to install, designed to match customer-specific needs and are readily upgradeable with a licence key. The top-of-the-line Linear Elite is a feature-rich system designed for four to 128 multi-door, multi-site facilities. The advanced capabilities of the Linear Elite system can accommodate more users, doors, readers, online transactions and overall capacity. The Linear Essential and Essential Plus access control systems give smaller and mid-size businesses access control that can grow with them. These systems provide entry-level value for one to four doors with immediate licence expansion capability to Elite system with no additional hardware needed.

SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award
SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award

The award is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently issued a call for nominations for the George R. Lippert Memorial Award. The Lippert Award, as it’s known in the security industry, is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company for long-term, selfless service to the security industry and to SIA. In memory of George R. Lippert The award is named in honour of Mr. Lippert, who dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the security industry and SIA. In 1967, Mr. Lippert purchased a company called Cameras for Industry. He served in leadership positions with Morse Security Group, Aritech and Linear Corp. Mr. Lippert was elected to the SIA Board of Directors in 1971, and served on the board for 17 years. His insights and efforts had a lasting impacting on SIA’s standards program and many other initiatives that benefited the industry. Recipients of the George R. Lippert Memorial Award are individuals who exhibit the same characteristics as Mr. Lippert, providing exceptional service to the security industry and SIA. To qualify, a nominee for the award must be: Employed in the security industry for more than 10 years with a manufacturer, integrator, distributor or service provider; Affiliated with a company that is a SIA Member in good standing; Respected as a leader in SIA and the industry; Viewed as a goodwill ambassador for SIA and the industry, as demonstrated by activities with various industry segments, such as regulatory agencies, industry associations, etc.; and Recognised as honest, responsible, courteous and kind. When evaluating candidates nominated for the award, the SIA Lippert Award Committee will consider their long-term service to SIA and the security industry, the impact of their efforts on behalf of SIA and the industry, and their integrity, leadership and diplomacy as demonstrated in industry dealings. Deadline for the submission of nominees is Monday, August 10. SIA will announce the winner of the Lippert Award during SIA Honours Night: Celebrating Performance, Partnerships and People in the Security Industry in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort
Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort

Integrated with gate entry system, long range solution opens Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort's main gate Farpointe Data, a DORMA Group Company, the access control industry's trusted global partner for RFID solutions, recently announced that its Ranger WRR-4+ 433 MHz receiver is used to gain admittance to the main gate of the Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kolea is a very diverse community offering both private residences and two and three bedroom vacation villas. This exclusive gated community offers everything a vacationer could desire in a vacation rental. That includes insuring that only those authorised to be in the community can enter.Farpoint P-640 proximity cards Kolea's organically grown security system includes Napco locksets with integrated card readers and keypads, a Linear gate entry system and Cisco video surveillance. Some houses on the property use Farpointe P-640 proximity cards with keypad readers for access from the street and directly from the beach. Those entering the main gate in their car use a Farpointe transmitter which is read by the Farpointe WRR-4+ receiver integrated into the Linear gate entry system via the industry standard Wiegand protocol. Instead of using a card, which could activate more than one device or door at a time, the transmitter holder selects exactly the mechanism to be immediately triggered. Available in either a two- or four-button configuration (WRR-2+ or WRR-4+ models respectively) and equipped standard with a weather-resistant potted proximity or contactless smart card module, the transmitter can use either two or four buttons to open two or four different doors from ranges up to 200 feet (61 m). Each button outputs transmitter data over separate Wiegand outputs yet the receiver installs just like a proximity reader for easy integration with popular proximity or contactless smart card access control systems. "Being located here directly on the beach places unique demands on our electronic security infrastructure. Our access control needs have evolved over time and we've been very happy with the flexibility and reliability the Ranger series has given us," reports Trenton Johnson, facility manager for Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort. "This dependability means we  are no longer continually re-investing in new equipment." "Using standard 26-bit Wiegand protocol and featuring standard mounting holes, the WRR-4+ is used as an "add-on" or "wire-in" receiver at the resort," adds Scott Lindley, Farpointe Data president. "With custom Wiegand protocols and Farpointe's MAXSecure™ security option, the long range system can be made even more protected to prevent credential duplication and ensure that the readers will only collect data from this single system's coded credentials. The lithium cell battery is tested to exceed 250,000 presses."Farpointe for ISC West 2015 Attendees at the ISC West Show in Las Vegas April 15-17 can see how the new long range WRR-2+ and WRR-4+ 433 MHz receivers operate. At ISC West, Farpointe Data will be in Booth 8056.

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