Tyco's Software House Unveils Revolutionary Solution for Easier Smart Card Adoption

New access control reader simultaneously reads proximity and smart cards; allows businesses to make cost-effective transition to advanced smart card systems


Lexington, Massachusetts -- Software House, part of Tyco Fire & Security's Access Control and Video Systems business unit, announced that it has begun shipping a first-of-its-kind, access control reader that will simultaneously read smart cards and proximity cards, including HID 125 KHz - the most prevalent proximity card in use today. The new reader addresses a major challenge facing many businesses who want to utilize smart cards for security and other applications, but have delayed their smart card programs because of the costs and time associated with transitioning from their existing proximity cards. By reading both formats, the new Software House readers allow customers to transition easily to a smart card system gradually and at a reasonable cost.

Smart card usage has become prevalent because of the cards' enhanced security and multi- functionality. Until now, though, many companies have not considered smart cards because they could not afford either to discard potentially thousands of proximity badges or interrupt business operation while switching to a smart card system. Software House's Multi- Technology Reader, priced comparably to standard proximity readers, cost-effectively removes those barriers.

"These new readers allow businesses to make a more seamless and cost-effective transition when choosing to migrate to smart cards." said Paul J. Piccolomini, Vice President of Research and Development for Tyco Fire & Security's Access Control and Video Systems business unit. "Allowing businesses to continue using their HID proximity cards, for example, while gradually transitioning to smart cards, is truly a first in the industry."

The removal of the barriers should be a boon to smart card adoption. Organizations that previously may have approached a smart card migration more gradually will now be able to enjoy performance benefits such as:

  • Physical and logical access control: One of the fundamental uses of deploying smart cards in the commercial industrial space - the ability to bring physical door access and IT user identification onto a single token - will significantly streamline the costs and potential security concerns associated with credentialing employees.
  • Vending: Whether it is snack purchases or business-related supplies, companies can now centralize the purchases made in on-site vending machines.
  • Time and Attendance: Access control information stored on a smart card can be routed into human resources databases, allowing employers an easy and efficient way of processing payroll.
  • Closed-loop cashless purchases: Mirroring the vending machine model, companies can now allow their employees to make purchases (meals, supplies, etc.) on a cashless basis.