Browse Access control systems & kits

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 Urmet Domus Communication and Security UK Ltd news

URMET France Group acquires access control provider SYNCHRONIC
URMET France Group acquires access control provider SYNCHRONIC

Founded in 1988 in Franqueville Saint Pierre, close to Rouen, France, SYNCHRONIC develop and produce solutions intended for all types of sites requiring protection of goods and people, such as banks, local authorities and more generally industrial, commercial or administrative sites. The company has 6 agencies to cover the French territory and is present worldwide mainly in French-speaking African and north African countries. SYNCHRONIC employs 60 people and achieved a turnover of 10.50M€ in 2019. “With this acquisition, the group strengthens its tertiary sector, already made up of CASTEL and MWS, and consolidates its position as a provider in access management and security for buildings”, confirms Philippe Mallard, Managing Director of the URMET France Group. URMET Connected buildings solution provider A player in the fields of intercom, access control, home automation and, more broadly, connected building, the URMET France Group has experienced steady and uninterrupted growth in turnover. ”The strength of the Group is to cover all the segments of the market chain (professional distribution, installers, general distribution…), to be multi-skilled, with an alliance of companies each expert in their fields. Like everyone, we are impacted by the health and economic crisis of COVID-19. However, we believe it is essential to continue our development in order to prepare for tomorrow“, continues Philippe Mallard. "The merger with SYNCHRONIC constitutes a great opportunity, their access control solutions, and in particular XSecur’ which obtained CSPN certification from ANSSI, will complement those offered by CASTEL", specifies Ali Mahmoud, Operations Manager of CASTEL and head of the group's tertiary division. Company’s presence in Europe “This acquisition is also part of the group’s innovation strategy. Synergies, particularly in development, will benefit all companies in both tertiary and residential sectors, and will allow us to provide ever more efficient, competitive and innovative solutions in a constantly moving sector”, said Pascal Perrin, Operations Manager of URMET France and head of the group's residential division. SYNCHRONIC will also benefit from CASTEL's export presence, particularly in Europe (Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, subsidiary in the United Kingdom), Russia, Australia, Middle East ..., and more widely of the international influence of the URMET Group. "The integration of SYNCHRONIC within a solid group in constant growth for 20 years and orientated to the international market, allows us to ensure the pursuit of our development. The complementarities between the different companies in the group will also create a new dynamic for our customers and our teams”, say Vincent Molina and Nicolas Bignard, co-managing directors of SYNCHRONIC.

Urmet UK announces release of its next-gen line of Alpha video door entry panels for 2Voice systems
Urmet UK announces release of its next-gen line of Alpha video door entry panels for 2Voice systems

Urmet is proud to present Alpha, a new line of modular entry panels for 2Voice systems; quick to install and easy to programme. Alpha modular entry panels The Alpha generation revolutionises the world of entry panels by developing an authentic icon of elegance, blending coated steel with methacrylate front plates to provide visual harmony and high resistance to UVA rays. The Alpha generation revolutionises the world of entry panels by developing an authentic icon of elegance In addition to its sleek contemporary design, Alpha offers maximum resistance to external agents such as water, dust and impact, with protection class IP55 and IK08. Furthermore, thanks to a high-performance wide-angle camera that complies with European standards, Alpha technology stands out for the exceptional quality of its sound and images. Easy configuration, seamless installation Configuration is also made as easy as possible with Alpha entry panels which feature two levels of programming: basic and advanced. Additionally, the entry panels have been designed to offer a simple and fast installation experience. The clever design enables the installer to join modular elements together in a few steps, minimising the use of screwdrivers and consequently reducing the overall installation time. All connections between modules are carried out by flat cables, which are supplied with the units, thereby excluding local wiring. The Alpha generation of modular entry panels for 2Voice systems are truly revolutionary in their design. Once installed, they barely project at all from the wall, which clearly distinguishes them from all of the other modular entry panels currently available on the market, with the exception of only 12 mm for the flush-mounted version and 29 mm for the surface wall-mounted variant. Alpha meets every need in terms of performance, design and space. For this reason, a version featuring buttons on two rows is available, allowing twice as many names to be added to the same overall space, if required.

Award-winning Energy Manager app on Urmet Max Pro touchscreen
Award-winning Energy Manager app on Urmet Max Pro touchscreen

Video entry manufacturer Urmet’s Max Pro touchscreen is now available with the option for a pre-installed energy-monitoring app, thanks to a partnership with NetThings, an Internet of Things developer. The award-winning Energy Manager app can now be viewed on the Max Pro touchscreen, providing residential and small business occupants with energy use and cost information on the same screen as their video door entry system. This is all achieved using the Energy Manager base unit’s built-in web server and WiFi access point, with no requirement for local network access or mobile infrastructure.  Controlling heating and building functions Energy Manager is a leading system for compliance with the ENE3 energy display requirement under the Code for Sustainable Homes. Capable of monitoring all utilities, including electricity and heat, it is worth two ‘code credits’ under the regulations. Urmet’s Max Pro touchscreen enables architects and developers to reduce the number of control devices to one multi-functional touchscreen The NetThings platform’s other features, such as transmission of energy data to billing systems, or nano-BEMS functionality for controlling heating and other building functions, are all potentially available from the base unit. Multi-functional Max Pro touchscreen Urmet’s Max Pro touchscreen enables architects and developers to reduce the number of control devices to one multi-functional touchscreen. The screen is powered by Android, allowing seamless integration of apps from third parties and enabling specifiers to choose their smart home control partners for heating, cooling, lighting, blinds and energy display – without being tied to one brand. “NetThings are pleased to partner with Urmet to introduce our Energy Manager monitoring capability to their Max Pro display which provides a more integrated experience to the occupants,” said Terry Hawksby, Housing Business Director at NetThings. “We are delighted to have teamed up with NetThings’s cutting-edge and intuitive energy management technology, adding to the growing range of automation and monitoring options available with our Max Pro touchscreen,” added Mark Hagger, Sales Director at Urmet UK.

Related white papers

11 considerations for embedded system RFID readers

Beyond security: access control for multi-tenant sites

Access control & intelligent vehicle screening