KEYPADS: Essential Elements in Security & Access Control

Wide Acceptance Boosts Popularity


Keypads were the first transition up from keys in access control. They continue to serve as essential appliances for user interface for security and access control applications. With the growing popularity of proximity credentials and the implementation of biometrics in identity verification, keypad devices will continue to hold a pivotal role in your installations. That is because the keypad is the most widely accepted user interface, even though it has long been recognized that the memorized code suffers as a foolproof identification factor.

Keypads continue to have value in authentication functions and serve effectively in a large number of security applications. A wide selection of hardware solutions is available. Keypads come in a variety of flavors and styles to suit applications. Applications and the equipment you install can range from single code non-electronic to networked multi-door systems used in conjunction with biometric and credential-based verifiers.

The new locks coming out offer intuitive solutions for access control management. Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, for example, has developed an offline access control solution with its new, improved Schlage King Cobra Series 2 (KC2) Locks, SNAP programmer and SNAP PC Application. This next generation in the Schlage lock family is smarter and more durable; and offers an affordable way to secure doors, manage lists of up to 1,000 authorized users per lock, and access an audit trial of the last 1,000 uses to see who went where and when.

The SNAP programmer is used to program the KC2 locks and communicates with the PC though a standard USB interface, much like a thumb drive or similar USB storage device. The new King Cobra 2 and SNAP also helps security dealer integrators create new and recurring revenue streams to grow your business. By upgrading your customers to electronic access control, and then managing those openings for the customer, revenues will grow and the relationship with that customer will remain strong.

“Most access control solutions are designed either for simple manual programming at the lock or for powerful offline or online functionality through software,” explains Chris Nieshalla, marketing manager with Schlage electronic security. “The KC2 lock and SNAP programmer create a nexus between the simplicity of a USB thumb drive and access control lock management. The system is specifically designed for the end user with multiple locks and employees, who finds it impractical to program each lock manually through the keypad, yet does not require the fully featured functions of higher price online lock and software solutions. Examples include retail operations, small to medium sized businesses, property management firms, commercial office buildings, schools, hospitals, airports and many other institutional facilities.”

Several improvements and features have been developed for this series of King Cobra locks. New features include the ability for the locks to be programmed using the SNAP programmer. Also, a new lock memory capable of storing up to 1,000 individual users and 1,000 audit trail events. Other features include a keypad and an iButton credential reader, providing increased security over mechanical locks and pushbutton-only locks. The KC2 may also be used with more fully featured software programs, such as Schlage Security Management System Express, offering the ability to program auto-lock/relock times.

The KC2 is a lock that can grow with a customer's needs. If all a customer needs today is a simple keypad entry solution, the KC2 can meet this need. As their business grows, along with the number of openings and employees, the need for the SNAP programmer becomes relevant. No worries here since the KC2 already has the smarts inside. In the future, it may become necessary to use a more powerful, more advanced system to manage openings – something that combines both offline and online openings into one. Schlage Security Management Systems Software can then be used again with the existing KC2 locks.

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