HID Goes to the Edge, Launches HID Identity

Walk the show floor at ISC and any security tradeshow today and you're bound to trip over an IP camera. That push for networked video has been driving the market, and spurning seemingly hundreds of industry analysts to project numbers for when IP video systems will overtake analog video system installations.

OK, maybe that's old news. But here's something that's not. Assa Abloy's HID Global has unveiled its Edge system of IP-based access control. The concept of an IP-addressable access control reader has made minor, "unofficial" appearances over the last year or so at HID's booth, but today marked the official unveiling of a concept that promises to change "greenfield" access control installations.

The highlight of the system was the Edge Solo reader (which landed a New Product Showcase award). I had a chance to join Tom Heiser, the Vice President for VertX and IP Devices at HID Global, to talk about the new Edge Solo reader.

For those of you familiar with HID's EntryProx system, which is designed as standalone access control using 125Khz prox technology, just fast forward that system by a few years, deliver it via IP, and you've got a rough picture of what the Edge Solo is about. One of the hot points on this technology is that dealers can sell a standalone access control system that's managed by a web-based user interface that humans can actually use (not just techies and installers), and then can upgrade the reader to fit into a wider system if your client decides to expand card-based access beyond a single door. In a single device, you get the brains, the reader (stores the last 5,000 events), and all the scheduling (8 schedules) and card holders (1,000 cards/individuals) - and the form factor is surprisingly small (and bound to get smaller, I suspect, year after year).

Need more info? Here are a few more talking points of why you might like this technology as much as HID does:

  • Dealers and integrators accustomed to VertX are going to find the switch to Edge close to seamless.
  • You can use POE (power over Ethernet) to make installs easier.
  • It can lower your door costs to $1,200...probably half of what a traditional card-access system would cost per door.
  • The readers can work with both DHCP and static IP networks.
  • You can upgrade the Edge Solo to become part of a larger, hosted system without gutting that Edge Solo hardware.

On a side note, if you head by the HID booth, swing by the partners' side of HID and check out their complete system of integrating everything from biometric enrollment, card printing, network access control (with a pretty cool little card reader from RF IDeas) and even vending. The exhibit is part of HID Identity, a new venture created by the merger of HID/ASSA ABLOY companies AccessID and Synercard. The system, which shows the end-to-end solution, from enrollment to the process of ordering a candy bar from a vending machine, is probably pie-in-the-sky for what most security departments' needs are going to be, but when you do land that enterprise project that wants complete card-based integration with other systems and the convergence of physical and logical access, remember this as a great example of what can be done.