The app uses BLE and/or WiFi to communicate with the reader.
Proxy sells units equipped with a 'Smart Relay' to connect to locks (from our test - image below), but aside from locking/unlocking via the app, it does not have the depth of functionality a normal access system does with access level/schedules, live system status, and reporting.
Great article and a very interesting product. While there are many different types of installations, a ratio of 28 cardholders per door is a consistent average we've seen in the SMB space. At this ratio the cost comparison would be $168 for HID vs. $240 for Proxy /door/year, supporting your conclusion on cost.
Proxy founder Denis Mars responded to this report, specifically clarifying the purpose of $299 Proxy Edge smart-relay equipped unit and the (~$350) 'Pro' unit tested above is priced for bigger 'takeover' deployments:
Our Mobile Reader Pro pricing is specifically designed for enterprises, commercial properties and large organizations that are deploying in multiple buildings and locations. Our pricing removes the difficult-to-budget user counts from their pricing equation in favor of a fixed reader count, which is easier to predict and understand.
When you start to apply HID’s pricing at that larger scale it becomes very costly, very quickly as we have seen in the market. Especially when dealing with large enterprises and commercial properties that need to enable 10s to 100s of thousands of employees, or the thousands of daily visitors, contractors, and guests needing temporary access who are left out of the equation. We believe our pricing is perfectly suited to that scale.
On the smaller side (such as the typical 5 readers / 40 person site), we think our stand-alone Edge unit is a more cost-effective solution since it doesn’t need the additional overhead of controller hardware and wiring - often the most expensive part of such a setup. In fact, we have a number of customers at the 20-150 people size that have gone fully mobile, with no panels or cards at all.
When compared to the alternative, the Edge becomes unbeatable in cost savings - although it does lack the features of other systems, it is often all that these sites need. And as they grow into larger spaces, they can easily migrate to Pro readers with 3rd party panels, without losing the investment they made in Edge readers which they keep for smaller sites and continue to manage as one unified system.
Mars also commented specifically on drawbacks we found during testing:
Blown relay contacts:
We did ship some Edge units which didn’t have proper contact protection. We have since rectified this, and all current builds have proper electrical protection of all contact lines to avoid such problems.
On the drain wire:
Good call on leaving the drain wire unjacketed or bare to make it clearer for installers and keeping with best practices - we are adding this to our to-do list of improvements for next release.
Weak reader indicators:
Here we had to make a tradeoff between not being too noisy and bright for use in dense office areas (which is the feedback we got from some customers that complained about loud readers when sitting next to them) vs accessibility in louder, brighter spaces. We think the best way to solve this is to allow admins to configure these settings within the app to suit each specific environment. We are planning to provide that feature in a future update.
Partial OSDP conformance:
Completely agree with you that there needs to be more clarity and standardization around what it means to support OSDP. Our Pro Readers do indeed support OSDP in the same sense as most other OSDP-capable readers in the market, yet the OSDP spec has many optional features which hinge on the capabilities of the panels and full support for those varies across implementations, as you correctly point out. We are encouraging customers to move to OSDP in its current form to start the ball rolling as secure channel implementations become more widely supported in the ecosystem (it will be a firmware update for us, so existing deployments will be able to benefit). This is something we all need to work on as an industry, and we’ll do our part to support it and encourage others to do so. We have updated the website to reflect our level of OSDP supports more accurately.
To Denis' point on market/buyer/installer uncertainty about what 'OSDP Support' actually means, IPVM is doing an in-depth review about OSDP profile confusion and challenges the protocol faces as it scales deeper in the market. Our post on the issue is in queue for coming days.