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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Johnson Controls deploys its integrated security solution to safeguard Otopeni Henri Airport – Bucharest Nord Railway Link
Johnson Controls deploys its integrated security solution to safeguard Otopeni Henri Airport – Bucharest Nord Railway Link

Compania Naţională de Căi Ferate ‘CFR’ - SA, the state railway carrier of Romania, has invested in an integrated security and safety solution from Johnson Controls, to protect passengers travelling on a new railway link, connecting the Otopeni Henri Coandă International Airport to Bucharest Nord main railway station, in Bucharest, Romania. Securing Bucharest’s new rail link The 2.95 km rail link, which was planned to facilitate the large number of fans travelling from the international airport to attend the Bucharest-hosted EURO 2020 football matches and was completed in just 14 months, from the design stage, at a cost of approximately 120 million Euros, is now being increasingly used by business travellers and tourists, who wish to visit the city of Bucharest. The contract to design and execute the entire project was won, as part of a competitiveness tender process, by the Arcada – ISPCF – DB Engineering consortium. Alfred Net, a systems integrator that specialises in designing and implementing turnkey security, telecommunications and network solutions, was subsequently tasked to provide the new railway terminal’s safety and security systems, as well as the passenger communications and information systems. Need for a sophisticated security solution We were very pleased to have the opportunity to use our experience of providing sophisticated solutions" “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to use our experience of providing sophisticated solutions for complex and mission critical applications, in order to contribute to the success of this important project,” said Alex Vladutoiu, the Managing Director & Solutions Architect at Alfred Net. Alex Vladutoiu said, “With the new link terminating within the airport, we immediately realised that any security and safety solution that we recommended to the consortium would need to meet the demanding requirements of airport security, as well as railway- related EU regulations and directives.” Deep integration of security components He adds, “This meant that as well as being robust, ultra-reliable and cyber secure, the various component parts of the solution would need to be deeply integrated with each other, so as to provide control room operators with a high level of situational awareness, which would enable them to react quickly and effectively to any incidents.” Alex Vladutoiu further said, “With this in mind, our previous experience led us to recommend that all the security and safety products should be single sourced from the Johnson Controls’ access control, fire, intrusion and video surveillance brands, which come under its Tyco umbrella. Simply put, we knew these various brands could collectively provide us with everything needed to put together an effective solution for this project.” He adds, “Importantly, we were confident that the various products, which to a large extent are ‘plug & play’, could be easily integrated without the time-consuming process of developing new drivers and interfaces.” Tyco victor security management platform The Alfred Net design team specified the Tyco victor security management platform  The Alfred Net design team specified the Tyco victor security management platform, to be at the heart of the safety and security solution. In addition to helping control room operators manage and monitor the images, captured by Tyco Illustra high-definition IP network cameras, victor’s graphical user interface (GUI) alerts operators in real time, as to any fire or intrusion events, as well as any access control activity. The design of the security and safety solution was based on a rigorous Risk Assessment Report, which took into account the worst case scenarios, in terms of the threat to the safety of passengers, disruption and the protection of assets. Unified security solution “By providing a unified solution, which can manage the combined data captured by the intrusion detection, access control, fire detection and video surveillance systems, victor offers authorised users with all the information they need, to monitor and strictly control the movement of passengers.” The products include: Video Surveillance & AI Analytics: In addition to the Tyco Illustra cameras and VideoEdge video recorders, which have been deployed to monitor the railway terminal proximity, mission critical machinery, platforms and areas open to the public, control room operators are also able to take advantage of video analytics, in order to help them quickly detect any suspicious activity or danger. Tripwire detection, for example, can generate an alert, if a passenger oversteps a platform’s safety line, while people counting analytics can alert security personnel to overcrowding. It can also be used by operations personnel to help them make best use of human resources, by having a greater understanding of which parts of the station are busy, at different times of the day. Access Control: A CEM Systems AC2000 access control software platform, together with eDCM350 OSDP protocol IP door controllers, are supporting smart card readers and encrypted cards, to limit access to sensitive areas throughout the railway station, such as communications, signalling, staff and locker rooms. As a highly scalable solution, AC2000 enabled Alfred Net to implement access control throughout expansive areas of the railway. By utilising RS485 serial communications with strong AES 128 encryption between the eDCM 350 intelligent door controllers, the OSDP readers and the smart cards, the railways is protected against the threat of controller signal cloning, as well as the threat of personnel card cloning. Fire Detection: Zettler Profile Flexible addressable panels, flame detectors and smoke sensors have been installed throughout the station terminal, to ensure mandatory compliance with EU fire regulations. Integration with the station’s PAVA system means that pre-recorded announcements are automatically broadcast, when a fire-related event occurs. Intrusion Detection: A DSC PowerSeries Neo intrusion system is providing protection for areas, which may be left unattended, such as cash handling areas, with integrated panic buttons to ensure there is a rapid reaction to any intrusion alarm. Johnson Controls and Alfred Net partnership Alfred Net worked closely with the Johnson Controls’ pre-sales team, in order to ensure the best products were specified for each location and application, and the comprehensive security and safety solution was installed, alongside the station’s iPIS communications and information software. Alex Vladutoiu said, “This was without doubt the most complex project that the client has been involved with and reflects its determination to invest in the latest technology, to ensure maximum operational efficiency and to protect its passengers and assets.” Video analytics and flame detection This has resulted in diverse solutions, such as video analytics and flame detection" He adds, “This has resulted in diverse solutions, such as video analytics and flame detection, based on video technology interacting with laser detection, RGB LED displays, digital signage, Text-to-Speech and many other state-of-the-art technologies, to deliver a highly effective total solution.” Since December 2020, when the new rail link became operational, the highly complex and integrated security and safety solution from Johnson Controls has been playing a key role, in ensuring the smooth operation of the train station and the running of 72 trains per day, (36 pairs), which arrive and depart every 20 minutes, both from and to the airport. Tyco suite of security products Alex Vladutoiu, Managing Director and Solutions Architect at Alfred Net, concludes “As a solution architect, Tyco is indeed my preferred security provider for integrated projects. As a unified solution, the Tyco suite of products are almost ‘plug and play’ and give you everything you need to build-up an integrated system, without spending additional time or money on developing other interfaces. He concludes, “We were delighted to have designed and implemented the new Otopeni Airport Railway Terminal project in less than one year and we look forward to our continued partnership with Tyco.”

Johnson Controls acquires Qolsys, Inc. to enhance its smart building solutions portfolio
Johnson Controls acquires Qolsys, Inc. to enhance its smart building solutions portfolio

Johnson Controls has announced it has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys Inc., a globally renowned residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, after owning a majority stake in the company since 2014. Smart building solutions expert Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. The Qolsys founders and leadership team will remain in Silicon Valley (San Jose, California), assuming key roles in Johnson Controls’ global intrusion business. Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next-gen smart building solutions Johnson Controls continues in its mission to deliver smarter, safer, more intelligent and connected buildings, by deploying emerging technologies, such as embedded IP, artificial intelligence and machine learning through state-of-the-art solutions and partnerships. Johnson Controls is at the forefront of fundamental transformation of how spaces and places are perceived and enjoyed by balancing and responding to the flow of information, services and people that occupy buildings. OpenBlue digital platforms By applying data from both inside and outside buildings, Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue digital platforms empower customers to manage operations, while delivering safety and security in dynamic and agile environments.       "Qolsys has grown from a startup to a renowned security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses," said Jeff Williams, President of Global Products, Johnson Controls. "The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets, while further enhancing the suite of products and services offered on our digital platform, OpenBlue." IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals The award-winning IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals have driven explosive growth in North America and across the globe with future-proof features, supported by over-the-air software updates, built-in panel camera, Bluetooth disarming and innovative installation, and diagnostic tools to reduce costs and increase user engagement and satisfaction. Qolsys continues to show consistent growth of services and dealers, which led to US$ 150 million in revenues during fiscal year 2019.    "As the world becomes more connected and the innovation curve continues to ramp at unprecedented speed, we are excited to join Johnson Controls," said Dave Pulling, Qolsys Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dave will be occupying the post of Vice President and General Manager of the global intrusion products business for Johnson Controls, which had US$ 500 million in revenue in fiscal year 2019. Advanced cloud-enabled solutions firm This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry" Dave adds, "We are committed to our customers in the security channel while continuing to invest in our roadmap and emerging verticals around the globe. This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry with advanced cloud-enabled solutions that transcend traditional intrusion offerings including advanced automation, energy management, apartment management, building management and wellness for aging in place." The combined volume of Qolsys, DSC, Bentel, Visonic - PowerG and Tyco products positions Johnson Controls as the market share major in advanced security solutions worldwide. IQ Hub, Panel, Water and Router products Qolsys recently announced roadmap products, including the IQ Hub, a lower-priced, third-generation IQ Panel; the IQ Router, a next-generation mesh networking solution to elegantly address the rapidly complex connected home; IQ Water, a connected water shut-off valve designed for mass market retrofit and a fourth generation IQ Panel due in 2021 with Qualcomm chipset supporting AI, M2M and next generation connectivity. Johnson Controls will offer Qolsys products throughout global markets. The IQ Panel 2 Plus and a full line of security and home automation devices are available from authorised Qolsys distributors.

Camden promotes David Price to Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development
Camden promotes David Price to Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development

Camden Door Controls, global provider of door activation, control and locking products, is pleased to announce the promotion of David Price to the position of Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development. David joined Camden Door Controls as Marketing Manager in 2010 and has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the company since that time. Door solutions expert In his new position, Price will continue to manage all internal and external corporate communications, Camden’s Customer Service and Order Entry departments, as well as assume new responsibilities for the creation and implementation of new corporate strategies. David Price is a 35-year industry veteran and has held senior management roles with Simplex and the DSC Group of Companies (now Tyco/Johnson Controls/Tri-Ed/Anixter). He has also owned an integrated marketing communications company which supported several major brands in the security industry. Security industry veteran “David brings a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the newly created position of Vice President for Camden Door Controls,” notes Dave Malen, Camden's co-founder. “This promotion recognises the significant contribution he has made to our company over the past nine years and expands his role to support the next stage of our corporate evolution.”

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