The Brooklyn Access Startup: Kisi

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 12, 2016

Straight from the hipster startup hotbed of Brooklyn comes a new IP access control system.  And if the tough streets of NYC do not offer enough credibility, Kisi also claims German engineering:

True to startup form, the company offers big claims like 'remote access control, compatible with any door', even those currently equipped with intercoms or other access systems.

But how does it work? In this note, we examine Kisi, its strengths, and weaknesses.

******** **** *** ******* startup ****** ** ******** comes * *** ** ****** control ******.  *** ** the ***** ******* ** NYC do *** ***** ****** credibility,******** ****** ****** ***********:

**** ** ******* ****, the ******* ****** *** claims **** '****** ****** control, ********** **** *** door', **** ***** ********* equipped **** ********* ** other ****** *******.

*** *** **** ** work? In **** ****, ** examine ****, *** *********, and **********.

[***************]

Startup ********** *** *******

***** ***** ** ********, the ******** ** *** startup *** *** **** from ******* [**** ** longer *********]. *** ******* version ** **** *** sale ** *** *** first ** **** ******* version, ********** ********** ** *** product****** ********* ******** **** an ********* ** ****.  The ******** **** ** largely ************* **** ********** security ********, *** *** maintained * ********** ******* that ** ******** *** sale ** ****** ******* idea, ******* *******, *** now ******* *** ** the *******.

**** ** ****** ** a ****** ** ******* technology ********** *****, **** recently $*.* *********** **** ******** *** Windforce ********.

Product ********

** *********, **** ** essentially a '********* *****' **** switches **** ***** *** wifi ******* ** ********** retrofit '***** *****' **** ********* ** ****. **** ******** ** door **** ** ***, instead ****** ** *********** with ******** ********, *******, or ******** **** ********.

***** ******** ***** ******** their ******** ********:

***** **** ******** *** own *******. *** **** ** their *** ******** ***** for **** ********:

Networked **** *********

**** ******** ***** ** ******** locks **** ** ********* and **** ******** ****** systems. ** **** *** seen ************ ****** ******* systems *********** **** **** approach.

*************, **** ** ********* between *** ***** ****** and *** **** **** itself, *** *** **** box ******** ********** ** triggers *** **** ** a ****** ** * smartphone ***, ** ******* close ********* (** ****** needed) *** ************ **** ********* ***** reader [**** ** ****** available].

*** ***** ***** ********** software ***** ***** ** which ***** ******* * door, **** *** ***** users **** ***** ******. Administrators *** **** ** send ********* **** ******** to ***** ** ******* of * *****, ** they *** ******** ****** an ******* ******* *** app.

*** *** *** *** employ '****** *********', ***** uses ***** *** ** BLE ************ ** ****** how *** **** * user ** *******. ********* on *************, * **** can ******* *** **** to ****** ****** * certain ********* ** *** door (**: *** **** or ****) ** **** the **** ** ******* unlocked *** ***** ** grant ****** **** *** user *******.   ** similar *******, *** *** allows * **** ** program ****** ****-**** **** or ****** ***** *** special ******.

**********

**** ****** *** ******* for ********** ** *** main ***:

  • ****: *** ******** ******* uses *** *****'* ********* wifi ** ******* **** the *****, **
  • ********: *** * ******* ******** of $**/ *****, **** offers *** ****** *** a *****-******* ** *******.

*** ****** ****** ** option *** ***** ******* connections *** ********* ***** options **** *** ** not ********* *** **** draw ***** **** ****** via ******** ***********.

*******

******** ****** ****** *** website, **** ********* **** the *** ******** ***** costs $*** *** **** door, *** *** ****** costs $*** ****. **** hardware **** ** ** up-front, *** **** **** that **** *** ******* ******* ******* ********* **** ****** ** price ********* ** ****** of *****, *****, *** sites. ****'* ******* ******** include:

  • **** *** *** **** and ** ** * users
  • $** ******* *** * single **** **** ** 25 *****
  • $*** ******* *** * single **** **** ********* users
  • "**** ** *** ******" for ******** ****** **** that

*** *** ******* ****** out *** ******* *******:

  • * ****: * ******* small ******, ****** **** 5 **** **** **** no ****** (*** ******* only) ***** ** $*** then $* *** *****
  • * ****: * ******* small ********, ***** **** system **** ***** ******* and ** ** ** users ***** ** $*,*** (3 ********) **** $** per *****.

Reader *********

**** ****** * *********** reader **** ** ***** replacement *** * *********** credential ******, **** ***. *** door *** ****** ** unlocked via ********** ***, *** the ********** ****** ******* users ** ****** ******* the ***** ******* **** for *** ***** ******.

*** **** ***** $***, but **** *** ******** connect ** *** ******* ** the *** ****** ****** readers **. ******* ** communicating *********** ***** ** the **********, *** ****** instead **** *** (*******) or *** (***) ** activate *** *** ************* with *** **** *** users ** ***** '******' buttons ********.

*** ****** ** ****** against *****, *** ***** power **** * ******** 3V ******** *******, ***** the ************ **** ** good *** * - 8 ****** ** ****** use.

Integrator/Installer *******

******* ******* ****** ** public [**** ** ****** available] *** ***** * DIY *******, **** *********** that **** ***** **** need ** *** *** professional ************ ** *** unit, *********** **** ********* lock ******** ** **** is ***** ** * door ******* ******** ********* or ******** *****.

***** ***** ** **** is *********** * ******** program [**** ** ****** available], *** ******** **** *** install ** ** *** installers, **** **** **** collecting ***** *** *** initial **** ********* *** monthly *******.  *** ******** resulting **** ***** ** additional ******** ** * negotiated **** ** *** installer ****** ** *** end ****. **** ******** **** stocking ******* **** ** offered **** ********* *** of ****** '****** ** public' *******.

**********

******* *** ******, **** faces **** *** ********** from ***** ******** ***** access ******** *** *** incumbent ********** ****** ******:

  • ***** *****: ******* ********* ****** as ** '****** ******* system', ****** ******** ****** such ** *********, ******, or ****, **** ******** additional *********** *****, ***** can *** ******** ** a ****** **** ****** Kisi **********.
  • ********* ** **** *** Smartphones: ** **** ** out, **** ** ****. Also, *** ****** ******* a **********, **** ****** use ****.
  • **** / ********** ** Install: ***** ************ ** ************* simple *** ****** **** easily **** ******** *******, many '******' **** **** themselves ************* ** ********** from ****** ********* ******* to ******** *** **** wiring *** **** ****** professional ************ ****** **** cost.
  • *********: ** *** **** even * ****** **** system ** *** **** is ************** *********, *** ~$600 ******** **** ** rivaled ** ******* ********** grade ***** ********** ****** products *********** ******** [**** ** longer *********] **** *** close ** ***** *** essentially ***** *** **** performance.

*********

*******, ** *** ******** space, **** ****** * sizeable ****** ** ******** integrations **** ******* *********:

***** *******:

  • **** ****
  • **** *********
  • *****: * ******* ******* rules ****** *** *********** other ***** ******* *******.
  • ** ****** *********: * common '****** **** **' user ********** ******** ****** to ********* ************.

Market ******

*** ****** ** **** comes **** ******* ******* to ***** **** ** the ***** ****** *****, and **** *******'* ******** for ********** ********* ************. Especially ** *** ******* of ******* ******** *** startups, ********* ********* ****** detached **** ******** ***** of ***** ********** **** are **** *******.  **** conveys **** ***** ** that ****** ** * way *** ***** *****-***** access ********* ********.

** ***** ** *******, we ****** ****'* ****** to ** ********* ** this '**********-**-**********' *****.  *******, success ** ****** ********** to ** ******* ** the ************ *** ** commercial ****** ***** ****** like *********** *****, ******** flexibility, *** ******* **********/ track ****** *** ***** heightened *****. 

Comments (13)

Brian, do you think approach of cutting / controlling power has a future? Is this an innovation or mistake?

Cutting lock power is not a new thing; it is how maglocks are controlled normally, for example.

Kisi essentially is introducing another set of relay contacts in series with other controllers/power supply/relay contacts. It is crude, but not likely a problem for most doors.

It does introduce another potential point of failure with door security, though. If Kisi sticks unlocked/locked, the other systems (ie: intercom) for the door will not be able to fix it.

Cutting lock power to unlock is terribly inefficient. For one, it requires constant electricity to remain locked. For seconds, I hope you live somewhere where you have a stable grid. Any power outage will unlock your door or require additional battery backup, which will drain when the power is out for longer periods.

If your power supply dies, your door is unlocked, as well.

I just don't see it. This is a step backwards from where we have come in my opinion.

Just to be clear, Kisi comes with a set of either NC (normally closed) or NO (normally open) contacts.

It doesn't only interrupt power. If a device like a strike (typically unpowered until activated to release) is at the door, Kisi can be configured to issue power as well.

I think Scott's comments are less a criticism of Kisi and more a direct contrast between maglocks and electric strikes. If maglocks lose power, they are unlocked, period. Strikes typically are configured to 'fail secure' on power loss (stay locked), however 'fail safe' on power loss (become unlocked) is an common option.

See Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Primer and How To Use Maglocks With Battery Power Legally for more.

Thanks Brian,

Yea, i don't know anything about Kisi, first I'd heard of it.

I thought it very strange to have an access control system limited to a fail safe configuration of lock.

So this is essentially a web relay with a sophisticated interface to control it. I feel like this should be less expensive. Interesting concept if the price point was better i could see this as maybe an option in multi tenant spaces.

"Tough Guy" Partner Portal:

Kisi My Access

I can tell you put some thought into this...

It takes a good deal of thought to be spontaneous.

It looks like a niche product in a market that is growing rapidly more crowded every month. It is expensive, does not offer me any technology I don't already have access to, and while I have not examined it closely, it does not seem to offer any particular level of sophistication. Some of these startups are not able to imagine a person who does not carry a smartphone on their person at all times. I often wonder if their development is more geared towards being acquired by someone as opposed to actually producing a product that stands on its own. Oh well, good luck to them.

Our hosting provider is a Kisi customer:

Should I feel better or worse about this?

The hipster affinity is strong.

"...it was just a pain in the ass.."

There doesn't seem to be standards in appropriateness in marketing now.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Designing Access Control Guide on Jan 30, 2019
Designing an access control solution requires decisions on 8 fundamental questions. This in-depth guide helps you understand the options and...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside...
Securing Access Control Installations Tutorial on Oct 17, 2019
The physical security of access control components is critical to ensuring that a facility is truly secure. Otherwise, the entire system can be...
Lock Status Monitoring Tutorial on Oct 28, 2019
Just because access doors are closed does not mean they are locked. Unless access systems are using lock status monitoring, the doors and areas...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and wireless alternatives that avoid it becomes appealing. But using wireless...
Disruptor Wyze Releases Undisruptive Smartlock on Dec 06, 2019
While Wyze has disrupted the consumer IP camera market with ~$20 cameras, its entrance into smart locks is entirely undisruptive. We have...
Hotel Access Control Explained on Dec 23, 2019
Hotel access control does not work like typical commercial access control because doors in hotels are not typically directly connected to a central...
Wyze Smart Door Lock Test on Jan 14, 2020
Wyze's inexpensive cameras have grabbed the attention of many in the consumer market, but can the company's new smart lock get similar...

Most Recent Industry Reports

"Hikvision Football Arena" Lithuania Causes Controversy on Jan 24, 2020
Controversy has arisen in Lithuania over Hikvision becoming a soccer team's top sponsor and gaining naming rights to their arena, with one local MP...
Axis and Genetec Drop IFSEC 2020 on Jan 23, 2020
Two of the best-known video surveillance manufacturers are dropping IFSEC International 2020, joining Milestone who dropped IFSEC in 2019. The...
Multipoint Door Lock Tutorial on Jan 23, 2020
Despite widespread use, locked doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and thousands can be misspent on locks that leave doors quite...
Avigilon Shifts Cloud Strategy - Merges Blue and ACC on Jan 23, 2020
Avigilon is shifting its cloud strategy, phasing out its Blue web-managed surveillance platform as a stand-alone brand and merging it with its ACC...
Verkada Paying $100 For Referrals Just To Demo on Jan 22, 2020
Some companies pay for referrals when the referral becomes a customer. Verkada is taking it to the next level - paying $100 referrals fees simply...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose analytics really work? And how do these new smart cameras compare to top...
Intersec 2020 Final Show Report on Jan 21, 2020
IPVM spent all 3 days at the Intersec 2020 show interviewing various companies and finding key trends. We cover: Middle East Enterprise...
Vehicle & Long Range Access Reader Tutorial on Jan 21, 2020
One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...