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.

Latest Videx Security Ltd news

Videx strengthens IPURE IP range with array of new features
Videx strengthens IPURE IP range with array of new features

Videx has added a series of new features to its IPure IP range, expanding the versatility of the system in providing a high-quality entry solution for a wide range of buildings. The Videx IP system is an expandable system that can be customised to suit a range of entry needs, accommodating up to 42 apartments using conventional call button modules and vandal-resistant panels or a digital call panel option able to call up to 10,000 apartments. All entrance panels are available with voice annunciation to aid visitors during the call progress and proximity access control. New features of IPure IP range The new features include a 7” touch screen handsfree video monitor, a 3.5” touch screen handsfree video monitor, an audio IP telephone, and the Cloudbox which allows additional programmable input/output to be added to the system as well as being a gateway to using the app in apartments which don’t have a video monitor. The new hands-free video monitors complement the existing 3.5” touch screen video phone with the handset. Up to 16 devices can be included in each apartment with advanced cascading flexibility if required. IP controlled entry solution The benefit of IP tech is that it doesn’t require dedicated infrastructure and can be used on existing networks " James Gray, National Sales Manager at Videx, said, “IP controlled entry is one of the most convenient and flexible solutions available.” “The huge benefit of IP technology is that it doesn’t require dedicated wiring infrastructure and can be used on existing networks. These networks can be shared with other technologies such as CCTV, building management and many others including FTTH/PON infrastructures.” “By adding even more features to our IP offering, we’re offering great flexibility and greater convenience. A new user interface has been introduced which complements the look and feel of the system across all platforms and can also be rolled out to existing systems through a firmware upgrade.” Customising systems using PC wizard “What’s more, our IP system is managed through a simple PC wizard programme which allows the installer or engineer to completely customise the system to the building’s requirements. The wizard will detect all the devices on the system allowing each to be set up as required and will also advise of any new firmware available.” “Using the wizard, the system can be connected to the cloud allowing users of the iOS and Android apps to receive calls recall entrance panels with video and activate any of the outputs.” Streamlining video systems SIP is allowed to be integrated into third-party SIP telephone systems SIP is supported across the range allowing it to be integrated into third-party SIP telephone systems. For further integration, the door panels include an RTSP server allowing video to be streamed to third-party systems and HTTP API to be used by third-party systems. Added features The 7” monitor with full touch screen also has several added features which build on the vast range of features already offered on other video monitors in the range. These include third-party camera integration using RTSP with support for H264 & H265, home automation integration, picture in picture viewing, a built-in webserver to access event logs, captured images, and videos to playback, and an optional Wi-fi connection. Further features can be added with a simple firmware upgrade.

Videx provides VX2200 door entry system, MiAccess, and video monitors to enhance security at Anika House and Jasleen Court
Videx provides VX2200 door entry system, MiAccess, and video monitors to enhance security at Anika House and Jasleen Court

A new large scale social housing complex, developed by Metroman Ltd, has joined forces with Videx UK to install a state-of-the-art door entry system for its residents. The London based development is split into 11 apartment blocks - Anika House and Jasleen Court - and fitted with Videx’s flagship VX2200 door entry system along with Videx MiAccess access control and hands-free video monitors. Suitable entry system Installer Dave Abrams, who owns DA & Son, was asked to recommend a suitable entry system that not only provided first rate security but was also easy for residents to use and convenient too. As well as meeting residents’ needs, the system also had to meet specific regulations, including Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative for designing out crime to improve the safety and security of where people live. SBD’s product-based accreditation scheme - the Police Preferred Specification - provides a recognised standard for all security products that can deter and reduce crime. The Videx VX2200 system is one product that has the accreditation. Convenient door entry The VX2200 panel is also fitted with Videx’s standalone offline proximity system The VX2200 panel is also fitted with Videx’s standalone offline proximity system, MiAccess which enables the use of remote management of the access control system including adding and removing access key fobs, for example if a fob stops working, needs replaced or a new user needs to be added, a visit to the development isn’t needed. Dave Abrams said: “I recommended the Videx VX2200 as I have installed the system several times before and it’s a great kit for secure and convenient door entry. Being SBD accredited also means that it’s a system that actively deters and reduces anti-social crime such as vandalism. Videx has a long-standing reputation of providing first class products with lifelong support. I know if there’s any issue with the system, it will be quickly and easily resolved through the Videx tech team. The post installation customer support really is second to none.” Maximum-security benefits The VX2200 is a preferred choice for a wide range of residential developments across the UK including social housing because of its ease of use and maximum-security benefits it provides. The VX2200 is a preferred choice for a wide range of residential developments It can cater for a wide range of buildings from 1-way systems to much larger systems that include up to 1,000 apartments making its flexibility a very attractive choice for secure and convenient entry on a large range of projects. Mabs Alam, Regional Sales Manager for London and South East at Videx UK, said: “Not only is the VX2200 a highly versatile entry system, it’s also accredited by Secured by Design, a key police initiative for designing out physical crime meaning it has been tested to the highest of security standards.” Ensuring maximum security “Because of the integrated MiAccess, residents simply need a programmed fob to gain access to their home and if they lose or misplace a fob, it can be reprogrammed remotely with another one easily and quickly by a management team.” “This means the system requires minimum maintenance and there’s no routine software upgrades needed either. What’s more there’s no moving parts, just the video handsets in each of the individual apartments. It’s such an easy to use and effective system and one of our most popular entry choices for residential developments in particular. The addition of MiAccess makes the system even more easy to use and maintain while ensuring maximum security.”

Videx appoints James Rose as the National Projects Manager to monitor project life cycle from initiation to completion
Videx appoints James Rose as the National Projects Manager to monitor project life cycle from initiation to completion

Videx Security appoints James Rose, an experienced professional in the access control and door entry market, to National Projects Manager. In the newly created role, James is responsible for Videx’s large-scale access control and entry projects, predominately in the social and private residential sector. A key element of his role involves onsite leadership for the project team, taking ownership of the full project life cycle from initiation to completion. Developing strong relationships James is an integral part of the Videx team and has been working at the company for over 10 years. He has a strong technical and sales background with extensive knowledge and expertise of the Videx range of access control and entry systems. John Rickard, Managing Director of Videx, said: “James not only has an in-depth understanding of the business, our products, and the industry generally, but he also has developed strong relationships with key partners - installers, distributors and integrators - through his technical and sales roles at Videx over the years. Together with his passion for innovation, James will be able to create new business opportunities with large scale, expansive projects in his new role.” Prioritising technology innovations Both James and James will work closely together in securing larger contracts for Videx “At Videx, we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke security solution and understanding a customer’s specific requirements which sets us apart from other entry manufacturers. Building on this USP, James will help us to secure more projects where the specification required is highly bespoke and tailored to specific customer needs.” The news follows the appointment of James Gray to National Sales Manager. Both James and James will work closely together in securing larger contracts for Videx, focusing on those sectors that provide the most growth potential to the business. Of particular focus this year are local authority and housing sectors as well as the healthcare industry which is calling for increased door entry and access control measures as they focus on bringing the current pandemic under control by reducing the spread of COVID-19. James added: “I am looking forward to taking on a challenging, but exciting, role as we push forward with our growth plans, prioritising technology innovations and best-in-class customer service.”

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