Electronic keypads - Expert commentary

Why face recognition as a credential is the ideal choice for access control?
Why face recognition as a credential is the ideal choice for access control?

In the field of access control, face recognition has come a long way. Once considered too slow to authenticate people's identities and credentials in high traffic conditions, face recognition technology has evolved to become one of the quickest, most effective access control identity authentication solutions across all industries. Advancements in artificial intelligence and advanced neural network (ANN) technology from industry leaders like Intel have improved the accuracy and efficiency of face recognition. However, another reason the technology is gaining traction is due to the swiftly rising demand for touchless access control solutions that can help mitigate the spread of disease in public spaces. Effective for high volumes Face recognition eliminates security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit Modern face recognition technology meets all the criteria for becoming the go-to solution for frictionless access control. It provides an accurate, non-invasive means of authenticating people's identities in high-traffic areas, including multi-tenant office buildings, industrial sites, and factories where multiple shifts per day are common. Typical electronic access control systems rely on people providing physical credentials, such as proximity cards, key fobs, or Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, all of which can be misplaced, lost, or stolen. Face recognition eliminates these security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit. Affordable biometric option Although there are other biometric tools available, face recognition offers significant advantages. Some technologies use hand geometry or iris scans, for example, but these options are generally slower and more expensive. This makes face recognition a natural application for day-to-day access control activities, including chronicling time and attendance for large workforces at construction sites, warehouses, and agricultural and mining operations. In addition to verifying personal credentials, face recognition can also identify whether an individual is wearing a facial covering in compliance with government or corporate mandates regarding health safety protocols. Beyond securing physical locations, face recognition can also be used to manage access to computers, as well as specialised equipment and devices. Overcoming challenges with AI So how did face recognition become so reliable when the technology was once dogged by many challenges, including difficulties with camera angles, certain types of facial expressions, and diverse lighting conditions? Thanks to the emergence of so-called "convolutional" neural network-based algorithms, engineers have been able to overcome these roadblocks. SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces One joint effort between New Jersey-based Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) and tech giant Intel has created the SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution. FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces and facial expressions, including those captured under changing light, at different resolution levels, and varying distances from the video camera. Secure video management system A common face recognition system deployment begins with IP video cameras that feed footage into a secure video management system connected to a video archive. When the software initially enrolls a person’s face, it creates a "digital descriptor" that is stored as a numeric code that will forever be associated with one identity. The system encrypts and stores these numeric codes in a SQL database. For the sake of convenience and cost savings, the video server CPU performs all neural network processes without requiring any special GPU cards. Unique digital identifiers The next step involves correlating faces captured in a video recording with their unique digital descriptors on file. The system can compare newly captured images against large databases of known individuals or faces captured from video streams. Face recognition technology can provide multi-factor authentication, searching watchlists for specific types of features, such as age, hair colour, gender, ethnicity, facial hair, glasses, headwear, and other identifying characteristics including bald spots. Robust encryption SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 To support privacy concerns, the entire system features an encrypted and secure login process that prevents unauthorized access to both the database and the archive. An additional layer of encryption is available through the use of Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs) that hold video recordings and metadata. SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 (short for Advanced Encryption Standard). Anti-spoofing safeguards How do face recognition systems handle people who try to trick the system by wearing a costume mask or holding up a picture to hide their faces? FaceX from ISS, for example, includes anti-spoofing capabilities that essentially check for the "liveliness" of a given face. The algorithm can easily flag the flat, two-dimensional nature of a face mask, printed photo, or image on a mobile phone and issue a "spoof" alarm. Increased speed of entry Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective. Systems can operate with off-the-shelf security cameras and computers. Users can also leverage existing infrastructure to maintain building aesthetics. A face recognition system can complete the process of detection and recognition in an instant, opening a door or turnstile in less than 500ms. Such efficiency can eliminate hours associated with security personnel checking and managing credentials manually. A vital tool Modern face recognition solutions are infinitely scalable to accommodate global enterprises. As a result, face recognition as a credential is increasingly being implemented for a wide range of applications that transcend traditional access control and physical security to include health safety and workforce management. All these capabilities make face recognition a natural, frictionless solution for managing access control, both in terms of performance and cost.

Key-centric access management system: providing the highest possible levels of security
Key-centric access management system: providing the highest possible levels of security

In daily work and life, various locks have always played the role of protecting asset safety. In different usage scenarios, the most appropriate lock must be selected to maximise benefits. In the past applications, the difficulties encountered by managers are as follows. Unlocking authority is difficult to control, unclear access records, emergency unlocking, and troublesome upgrade and installation. Through the following points, how the key-centric access management system solves such problems. Access management system The key-centric access management system, also known as intelligent passive electronic lock system, which is based on three elements: electronic keys, electronic cylinders and management software, can provide powerful and traceable access control. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be quickly disabled. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be disabledIn the process of using traditional mechanical locks, it is not difficult to find that it is quite complex to realise the access control of unlocking. The difficulty is that the keys can be copied at will, the use records are not clear, and the credibility of employees cannot be guaranteed... etc. For managers, this is a safety issue that cannot be ignored. Mechanical lock system And through the key-centric access management system, we can accurately assign access authority for each user, and set different access authority for locks in different areas. For example, we can set the XX user to have access to the archive room (A) from 10:00 on May 1, 2021 to 17:00 on June 1, 2021, within this time range. Outside this time range, there will be no unlock authority. The flexibility of the traditional mechanical lock system is insufficient. There is no clear record to determine who entered the area. It is usually a simple paper record that records the unlocking records of the employees. The authenticity and validity of the system need to be examined. In the key-centric access management system, when an employee unlocks the lock, the unlock record will be synchronised to the management terminal. Remote authorised unlocking With the key-centric access management system, remote authorised unlocking can be realised Through secondary records, managers can easily track employees and supervise employees' visits to each area. In daily work, there are often emergencies that require temporary visits to certain specific areas. If you encounter a situation where the distance is extremely long, and you don’t have the key to that area, you can imagine how bad this is. The process of fetching the keys back and forth is time-consuming and laborious. With the key-centric access management system, remote authorised unlocking can be realised. You can apply for the unlocking authority through the mobile APP, or you can temporarily issue the unlocking authority for the area on the management terminal, which saves time and effort. When faced with the failure of ordinary mechanical locks to meet management needs, some managers can already think of upgrading their management system, that is, the intelligent access control system. Passive electronic locks But before making this decision, the manager will inevitably consider the various costs brought about by the upgrade, including installation costs (cable cost), learning costs, and maintenance costs. Since most of the universal intelligent access control systems on the market require wiring and power supply, the cost of transformation and upgrading is quite high for managers who have such a huge amount of engineering. The key-centric access management system is the ‘gospel’ for managers. Since passive electronic locks and ordinary mechanical locks have the same size, they can be directly retrofitted to existing hardware, and they can be replaced step by step simply and easily. At present, the key-centric access management system is being known and applied by more and more managers and enterprises. Application industries include, such as power utilities, water utilities, public security, telecommunication industry, transportation, etc.

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.

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Nedap provides Transit long-range readers to enhance security at Heron Bros’ new garage
Nedap provides Transit long-range readers to enhance security at Heron Bros’ new garage

Heron Bros. is an award-winning construction and property development company with its headquarters in Draperstown, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. It operates throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe and employs over 250 people. The company recently built a garage, which will be accessed by approximately 140 vehicles, the majority of which are cars and vans with a smaller number of HGV lorries. The new garage is accessed down a narrow single-track road that takes two-way traffic. To ensure the security of the site, Heron Bros. wanted vehicles to be able to access the garage through automatic gates without stopping to show a card to a reader. Access control software Inova Gates Ltd who design, manufacture and install high-quality automatic gates, were asked to install two sliding gates, each 7 metres wide to allow large vehicles to be able to turn in and out of the site. The requirement was that if a car or van approached, only the left-hand gate would open, but if a lorry approached, then both gates would open. An additional challenge for vehicle identification was that the access road runs at 90 degrees to the gates with no approach area in front of the gates. Each valid vehicle was issued with a Transit button-activated windscreen tag With the help of Nortech technical support, Inova specified a system using two Nedap Transit long-range readers together with a CRC200 control unit and Norpass3 access control software. Each valid vehicle was issued with a Transit button-activated windscreen tag. This avoids false detects, as the driver presses the button to activate the gate as the vehicle arrives at the gate. Long reading range One reader was installed on the inside of the gates for exit control and the other on the outside of the gate for entry control. The long reading range and wide read angle of the Transit reader enabled the installers to adjust the position and angle of each reader such that it detects tags in all types of vehicles. The access control system determines the type of vehicle by the access rights of the detected tag and operates the gates accordingly. The benefits of the reader are as follows: Robust industrial reader design. Read a range of up to 10 metres. Reader is able to detect vehicle tags at difficult approach angles. Reliable long-range tag detection avoids manual intervention and reduces running costs. Easy windshield mounting of windscreen tag using a suction pad. "Although the installation gave some challenges with the angle of the road to the reader, the technical teams of both Inova Gates and Nortech worked together to create a very satisfactory installation," said Cathal Rogers - General Manager, Inova Gates Ltd.

uPASS Reach provides primary vehicle access solution for Science Park
uPASS Reach provides primary vehicle access solution for Science Park

Exeter Science Park is a business park developed by the Exeter Science Park Company, a partnership between Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, the Exeter City Council, and the East Devon District Council. It is a 26-hectare site located on the outskirts of the city of Exeter next to junction 29 of the M5 motorway. Sustainable solution The site has 2 entry lanes and 3 exit lanes. A vehicle access control solution was required to resolve problems at these entry and exit points. It was necessary to reduce staff involvement in barrier control, relieve congestion at the barriers, and improve reporting data using a sustainable solution that has low maintenance costs. Long-range tag reader Upon approach to the entry barrier, the uPass reader senses the RFID tag Each entry and exit lane has been fitted with a barrier, an HD ANPR camera, and an uPass long-range tag reader. The tag reader is used as the primary method of access control. Staff members will attach their RFID tags to their windscreens. Upon approach to the entry barrier, the uPass reader senses the RFID tag. The uPass Reader passes the information the barrier control, which opens the barrier. The whole process takes approximately 3 seconds. The same procedure is used on the exit barriers. HD ANPR cameras For staff that don’t have RFID tags and visitors, a secondary system using HD ANPR cameras provides access control. This removes the need for any ticket issue/chip coin at entry, avoiding human involvement and resulting in a faster throughput on entry and exit. Further staff and tenants can be added to a limitless categorised white list using the vehicle number plate as the ID. The white list can be used to allow automatic entry of visitors without the driver having to press the intercom button. Benefits Cost-effective and reliable hands-free access control Windscreen tags are read at up to 5 metres Prevents unauthorised vehicle access Allows vehicles to be tracked “The uPass long-range tag reader has allowed a quicker throughput through the barrier, whilst improving security on vehicle access. We are extremely happy with the positive impact the product has had on our client,” said Mustafe Omar, Business Development Manager, Newpark Solutions.

Nortech Control Systems provides uPASS long-range reader and tags to facilitate asset management at Border Caravan Storage site
Nortech Control Systems provides uPASS long-range reader and tags to facilitate asset management at Border Caravan Storage site

Border Caravan Storage, a family run business that offers storage for 170 caravans, motor homes and trailers has been operated by Keith, Alison and Helen Rogers for over 15 years. The site used an access control system to control access to the site, but there wasn’t an ideal method of tracking which units were on site, at any given time. The management team had been using a manually operated display board that was prone to error, so they decided to look for a reliable automatic method of identifying which units were on site. Airlock system with uPASS long-range reader The Border management team spoke to Paul Evans of BTT Comms (ex MMV), who suggested using Nortech’s airlock system, where vehicles have to pass through two separate electronically controlled gates to enter or exit the site. The existing drivers’ access control fobs are used alongside uPASS tags, which are placed in the side window of the caravans for detection by the uPASS long-range reader. The system has been recognised by CaSSOA, who endorse the system giving the highest level of security possible If a caravan passes through the first gate, the second gate will only open if the uPASS tag and the driver's fob are both detected and provide a valid match. The information is also relayed to a specially designed asset management system that keeps a real-time log of all units on and off the site. High level of access control security This system has been recognised by CaSSOA, the Caravan Storage Owners’ Association, who endorse the system giving the highest level of security possible, which is recognised by insurance companies, thereby reducing insurance costs for caravan owners. Benefits Simple and reliable means of monitoring the movement of caravans on and off the site. Reliable long-range tag detection avoids manual intervention and reduces running costs. Enhanced security reduces insurance costs for caravan owners. Helen Rogers of Border Caravan Storage stated, “We are very pleased with the new system which provides information in real time and we now know which caravans and owners are on site at any time giving us total peace of mind.”

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