Access Control New Products Spring 2014

By Brian Rhodes, Published Apr 14, 2014, 12:00am EDT

With surveillance dissapointing, access control dominanted the top awards at ISC West. Of course, a bulletproof bookshelf might be fatally flawed and a cloud based visitor / vendor management system is incredibly niche, a number of other notable developments in access control occured. Inside, we review:

  • ONVIF Profile C development
  • New credentials and readers
  • NFC vs Bluetooth
  • Locks and Hardware
  • Casi Rusco Replacements
  • OSDP as 'the new Wiegand'

ONVIF Profile C

Hot on the heels of formal ratification last month, the access ONVIF standard (Profile C) has grown to include products from at least four manufacturers. While still a long way from the industry adoption success of ONVIF Profile S, the access profile is off to a notable start.

We grabbed a photo of the Profile C demo and noted in our daily show roundup:

Several Profile C access control products were shown, from Axis, Honeywell, and Bosch, working with a Siemens client to monitor access events, lock and unlock doors, etc:

New Credentials & Readers

While labeled a perpetual 'growth segment, there were a number of new biometric devices on the floor including:

  • Zwipe: A fingerprint reader embedded into DESFire contactless card, for multifactor identification on the credential. We covered the offering in this note. While a great idea, Zwipe faces the formidable challenges of high pricing, limited distribution, and not being compatible with HID credential formats.
  • BioCam300: Is it a face recognition reader, a door controller, or surveillance camera? Well, BioCam300 claims to be all three. We will cover the device in an upcoming note.
  • AirID: Reading fingerprints through the air? That is exactly what AirID claims to do, reducing the risk of communicable diseases in risky areas like hospitals or medical labs. We will cover this line of offerings in detail in an upcoming note.

NFC and Bluetooth

Another oh-so-slight but significant shift is the acceptance of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as an alternative to NFC for mobile device based credentials. Indeed, even the biggest historical proponent of NFC, HID Global, announced the latest versions of it's readers and encoders (card programmers) will be BLE compatible. We noted the upswing of BLE vs NFC in this note

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Overall, the marketing surrounding NFC as 'the next big thing' in access was far more muted than recent shows.

Locks & Hardware

The belle of the ball has to be door locks and hardware. While single products are never quite sexy or broadly appealing enough to capture headlines on thier own, there were a number of notable offerings socked away in booths, including:

  • Adams-Rite RITE Touch [link no longer available]: One of the biggest foes of electronic access control are glass doors. There never seems to be an attractive, secure way to hang electrified components on a sheet of glass. A new lock from Adams Rite claims to be an answer, featuring an electric strike, keypad, and contactless reader in a wireless lock. Not only that: it looks good too! We will cover RITE Touch in detail in an upcoming note:

  • RCI 0563: This new strike is pretty status quo, unless you happen to have lots of doors using pullman latches. The body of the strike is just under 1/2" thick, meaning surface mount exit devices can swing extended exit device (pullman) rolling latches without binding or colliding.
  • Ecoflex Low Power Lock: This series of locks claims to use 94% less energy than other electrified mortise locks due to a redesigned solenoid. Does a more energy efficient lock matter? For standalone locks running on batteries, it could mean less maintenance calls and battery swaps. ASSA is so bullish on the design, it has adopted Ecoflex across the board in all of it's hardware lines.


Quiet Incumbents

So what is new for big names like Lenel, SoftwareHouse, and Honeywell? Answer: not much.

Aside from a quiet smattering announcing incremental software updates to existing platforms, the heavies had a quiet show with no new hardware, new VMS integrations, or pricing changes of note. While not earth-shaking, two trends continued to be popular:

  • Casi-Rusco Support: With the sun setting years ago on Casi support, many manufacturers emphasised of-the-shelf migration solutions from CR to current platforms. Lenel and AMAG both prominently marketing their solutions in their booths.
  • OSDP: Billed as the 'new Wiegand', the Open Supervised Device Protocol featured interoperability in a plugfest [link no longer available], featuring many of the big names in controller and readers. Among the advancements over Wiegand, OSDP claims bi-directional communication between readers and controllers, encrypted data transfer, and higher throughput between devices. (We cover OSDP in detail in this note.)  Like ONVIF C, OSDP still has much market acceptance to gain, but the pedigree of vendors currently adopting the standard (notably Mercury Security and HID Global) bode well for the protoco's future use:

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