ISC West 2012 access control roundup

Vendors weigh in on industry trends and technologies at tradeshow

Smarter Security

A leader in the optical turnstiles market, Smarter Security has launched a new IP-based turnstile that promises to bring several benefits to end users, according to the company's CEO Jeff Brown. "We're very excited to bring IP (technology) to optical turnstiles," he said. "We really think the future is IP." Dubbed Fastlane Connect, Brown said that there are two main benefits for users that want to deploy IP-enabled turnstiles. First, it can help reduce total cost of ownership as the technology allows for remote upgrades and diagnostics. Secondly, IP will help users boost the performance of their systems as a result of these proactive management features.


A pioneer in the world of cloud-based access control, Brivo Systems announced at ISC West that it is launching a cloud-based access control solution for federal agencies called Brivo ACS CloudPASS. This solution was designed specifically with federal agencies in mind to provide simplified compliance, scalability and flexibility. According to Rajeev Dubey, Brivo's director of marketing, while the shift to cloud-based offerings is one of the major trends in access control technology, there have been some vendors muddying the waters as it relates to what the true definition of a cloud access offering is. Just as people do not go through third party to gain access to their Google mail accounts, Dubey said that an actual cloud access control solution does not involve a service provider managing the system for the user. In addition, Dubey said that a cloud service would not violate an organization's IT policy regulations as some other vendors have been known to do. "Anyone who has a true cloud architecture would not want IT protocols to be violated," he said.

Ingersoll Rand

For several years, many in the industry have touted the potential for Near Field Communications (NFC) in smartphones to revolutionize access control. Experts say, however, that the reality is that we're headed towards a world of "hybrid" access control, where some people will be using smart cards while others will be taking advantage of NFC. "The natural progression is to put everything on (phones)," said Jeremy Earles, portfolio manager for readers and credentials at Ingersoll Rand. Earles, who demonstrated the company's aptiQ NFC app, admitted that the technology needs to be implemented in more phones before it can gather the momentum it needs to gain widespread adoption. Earles said that the industry, which has made NFC out to be confusing, needs to works on simplifying it for end users. "I think the industry, as a whole, has made this technology confusing. It's a complicated industry, but it doesn't have to be for the end user."


For high security applications needing more than one-factor authentication, biometrics have become a prevalent component of contemporary access control systems. Though they have been widely criticized in the past for having a high rate of errors, biometric technology has improved tremendously in recent years and one of the companies on the cutting edge of this shift to more reliable authentication is Lumidigm. According to Bill Spence, vice president of Lumidigm, biometrics can allow organizations to streamline identity and access control management at their facilities. "CIOs understand that PINs only provide what somebody knows. "Others can know the PIN as well. Cards and tokens, whatever the technology, only provide what somebody has," Spence said. "Somebody else could have that card or token via theft or copying. Knowing and having just doesn't provide the protection or return-on-investment (ROI) that CIOs need in today's dangerous and litigious world. We must know who."