Frost & Sullivan recently named GE Infrastructure, Security as recipient of the 2004 Product Innovation Award for its Transition Series of readers for physical access control. All the readers in this series are compatible with any access control system that uses Wiegand-based data communications up to 64 bits in addition to 125 KHz proximity, MIFARE (ISO 14443A) and Vicinity (ISO 15693) standards, providing users with a cost effective way for organizations to support their current user bases as well as address future security requirements.
The Product Innovation Award recognizes that GE Infrastructure, Security's parent company is a 125-year-old-brand and market leader that has always had the investment potential for an expansive research and development base. GE Infrastructure, Security itself has displayed consistent leadership in technology innovation, with a commitment towards open architecture and non-propriety technology.
The 125 KHz proximity and Wiegand standards currently constitute the majority of the card-based access control market worldwide. The reluctance among these card issuers to move towards the more advanced MIFARE technology is primarily due to the extensive investments in the legacy technology. GE's 'Transition Readers' is a pioneering effort in addressing this large segment of the market and the company is the first to introduce this unique solution.
"GE's Transition Series of readers has been especially designed for organizations attempting to enhance physical access control architecture by migrating to MIFARE or Vicinity smart card technology, but also persisting with their existing legacy systems at the same time," notes Karthik Nagarajan, security and access control Analyst with Frost & Sullivan.
The most crucial innovation of the reader is its ability to read existing vicinity cards as well as the new MIFARE cards. Compliance with multiple standards also enhances its scope in emerging markets that is facilitated by the recent homeland security and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) legislations that necessitate standards-based physical access control measures at a multitude of venues.
"The product is also in line with GE's initiative to develop non-proprietary security platforms. This is supported by their role in The Smart Card Alliance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the widespread adoption, usage, and application of smart card technology," added Nagarajan.
In addition to this, the Transition Series reader also provides 'intelligent supervision' that monitors the communication between the access control panel and the reader at the door. This enables the reader to monitor the status of the line and notify security staff in the event of tamper or short circuit.
Of the many value additions of this product, the primary one is its rugged design brought about by the use of weatherproof, UV resistant materials in the manufacture of the readers. This provides them the durability and also the protection against inclement weather and long-term exposure to sunlight. In addition to this, the company also offers lifetime warranty to each of the reader units as a value addition to the customers.
"The uniqueness of the technology and the differentiation that it provides, the reader will position the 'Transition series' at an exclusive spot in the access control market. Compliance with multiple standards and a production capacity that is among the best in the world should ensure its long-term success," concludes Nagarajan.