Openpath joins forces with industry startups to solve tailgating challenges

Sept. 3, 2019
Mobile access control provider to also debut new ‘Lockdown Solution’ at GSX 2019

Despite the significant investments organizations make today in their access control systems, even some of the most technologically advanced solutions on the market are thwarted by simplest of tactics – tailgating. Traditionally, the only way to solve tailgating issues, aside from employee training, has been to install turnstiles or similar solutions that add yet another layer of technology and cost to security departments whose budgets are already stretched thin.  

However, advancements in things like machine learning technology mean that challenges like tailgating can be solved much easier. That’s exactly what mobile access control firm Openpath has done via partnerships with two industry startups – Density and Camio.

“As we looked at this problem, we said, ‘wow, there are obvious integrations with a lot of physical barrier systems like turnstiles to help eliminate the tailgating problem.’  But a lot of our enterprise and school customers, as well as other folks said they couldn’t put a turnstile in front of their office suite, it just doesn’t make sense, and they needed a way to figure this out from a broader technology perspective,” James Segil, President and Co-Founder of Openpath, says. 

Density's people-counting sensors provide a real-time count of people entering and exiting a doorway. When integrated with Openpath, the solution can detect when someone enters a room and sound an alert, enabling security personnel to identify the unauthorized person before they become a security threat. Density also offers analytics to measure which entrances are most susceptible to tailgating.

“Density is really good for gateways and doors. It actually has a camera built into it that senses people movement and if it finds – because it is tied into the access control system – an unauthorized entry happening, it will actually make a beep alert itself as well as set off our reader,” Segil says. “It can also trigger our system to say, ‘hey, somebody just walked in behind you.’ It doesn’t have the benefit of video but it does have some pretty cool dashboards that allow you to see tailgating events real time and look at it on maps across not just a single site but multiple sites. For an enterprise or campus environment, it tracks the trends and what we’ve seen historically is that they are able to make changes and mitigate the impact of tailgating, which saves a lot of money on people sneaking in and stealing laptops and other stuff and it will address intellectual property and data vulnerabilities.”

Camio provides AI-powered video surveillance for visual verification of access control events like doors unlocked, forced open or left ajar. The company’s technology also enables existing security cameras to detect discrepancies between the number of valid badge-ins and the number of people passing through a doorway.

“When integrated with our access control system, the real-time access logs are pushed out to the Camio system along with the individual user data,” Segil explains.  “So you can do a quick search in Camio for James Segil and you can find James Segil and red shirt and anybody with a red shirt and the name ‘James.’ You can also tie it to tailgating and ‘James’ and you can see any event that happened where tailgating is going on because it tracks James as he comes in but it also uses both the access logs and Bluetooth data on my phone and allows that to tie back into the video management system.

“Being that it is a video-based solution, it is really appropriate for any environment,” he continues. “You can put a camera up and point it at a door, but you can also point it at an atrium in a large lobby and all kinds of different entries and gateways that might not fit either a turnstile layout or a people counter on top of the gateway”

In conjunction with its partnership with Camio and Density, Openpath also announced last month that it is now compatible with Milestone System’s open platform video management system, which is the first large VMS vendor the company has integrated with to date.

“We decided to start with Milestone as the enterprise VMS solution choice because a) it was at the top of the list of most of our system integration partners and customers and b) they don’t own their own access control solution,” Segil explains.

Company Unveils ‘Lockdown Solution’

In addition to its partnerships with Camio and Density, Openpath will also demonstrating its new Lockdown Solution next week at GSX 2019  (Booth #117) in Chicago, which gives authorized users the ability to lock and unlock any door, zone or building in the event of an emergency with the push of a button on their mobile device.

“We wanted to make sure from an access control perspective we supported lockdown capabilities and because we’re a complete access control solution – it’s not just the readers, credential and panels but it is also the software– and there’s a lot of providers who have entered this space with a cool mobile credentials and that’s all they do and you have to add it onto a software system or these guys make panels but that’s all they do or these guys just make software,” Segil says. “Being an access system of record it gave us the means to control a lot of different things that add value from a feature perspective that other systems can’t.”    

The solution is customizable and is designed to address the different needs that offices, schools, campuses, hospitals and places of worship have in emergency situations. For example, plans can be created for each situation based on locations, zones, permissions, and protocols, and integrates with a wide range of activation methods including gunshot detectors, glass-break detectors, AWS IoT buttons, panic buttons, wired triggers, and mobile phones. In addition, the Lockdown Solution is capable of alerting first responders of an incident via email/SMS.

“What we heard in our conversations with practitioners of security in all of these different verticals was there was a delay in the ability to initiate a lockdown. Getting to the panic button, if not positioned correctly or you can’t get to it because you’re blocked, was really a challenge to people’s ability to initiate a lockdown,” Segil adds. “Secondly, monitoring and managing who can initiate a lockdown was rather limited. Third, there wasn’t enough flexibility in the kinds of lockdown plans you might need because locking every door in a building isn’t actually what you need in every scenario. Sometimes you need to do different things.”  

For example, in the event of an earthquake, Segil says the last thing you would want to do is lock all of the doors or turnstiles in the building.

“In that scenario I want the opposite of a lockdown, I want an open plan where I can override every single door schedule and open everything,” he adds. “At the same time, in the case of a hospital where a baby is stolen, you want to lockdown absolutely everything, so every door, every zone, you want a complete and total lockdown - people cannot move and they have to shelter in place. In the case of an active shooter, you might not want everything to lockdown. You might want all of the garage gates to open up but all of the zones and doors in an affected area to lockdown.”

Those who leverage Camio in conjunction with Openpath will also have the capability to send live video feeds of a facility to first responders. “If a lockdown is initiated, it instantly sends – outside the firewall – a live video feed of all of the affected zones that are locked down to the first responders. Right there on their phone they can see live view of all of the zones that are affected and we can actually include 10 to 15 minutes of DVR playback.”

The Lockdown Solution is available free of charge to non-profits and schools.   

About the Author:

Joel Griffin is the Editor of and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected].