Control access with your smartphone

Wednesday, 13th May, 2015

Mobile phone technology has transformed our lives in a way that couldn't have been predicted 20 years ago. However, the potential for even more jaw-dropping developments in mobile phone technology over the years to come is huge. Future phones are being touted as the ultimate multifunctional gadgets and are expected to be more closely embedded in our day-to-day lives than ever before. Some experts predict that the mobiles of the future will become remote controls for our whole lives, while others forecast that mobile phones will literally run our lives for us.

So it’s no surprise that we want to get in on the action. The increase of smartphone access control is well under way and every day keypad, proximity reader and biometric based systems are being replaced by solutions that use your smartphone. It's convenient, less expensive and more secure than older technologies and as we know the smartphone is now everyone’s constant companion.

The credentials

Keypad systems aren’t too expensive but lack real security as PIN numbers are easily shared. They don’t offer audit trails either and are quite unsanitary as you have to touch the keys. They also do require a lot of maintaining as when people leaves the pin numbers on all keypads may need to be changed.

Proximity readers with cards are a fantastic way of monitoring access and the most commonly used in access control solutions. They offer much higher security than a keypad system and also a full audit trail. However you are reliant on users not losing their cards and over time the cost of cards can add up.  

Biometric readers offer a much higher level of security as it is almost impossible to share but devices can be expensive.

Smartphone-based access control systems are convenient as you are already carrying your phone and you are far less likely to leave your phone behind than a proximity card. Smartphone access control is now really the new biometric as they are permanently with a user, especially the under 50 crowd.

The benefits

You no longer have to deal with replacing cards and they are secure and can be protected with a PIN number. So if the phone is lost, it can’t be used. Everyone has a sense of ownership of their phone, unlike their proximity card, they are far less likely to loan someone their phone to get into a building but they may be tempted to loan their ID card.

If you are looking for a system that is more convenient, less expensive and more secure, smartphone access control is the right choice for you. The only decision you have to make is what type of smartphone access control to use. There are two technologies that can be used, Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication).

The technology

Bluetooth readers have a greater advantage due to the read range. They can work up to 30-feet away. This works on things like car park entrances, opening garage doors as all can be opened without rolling down your window or opening a door and without taking your phone out of your pocket or purse.

NFC readers work from a few inches away only which means you do need to take your phone out of your pocket or purse when gaining access. However a lot of places don’t want such a long range like what you get with Bluetooth readers, such as universities or colleges, hospitals or places of work.

What we can offer

AIT’s mobile key works across AIT’s full access control product range. No special software is required and it combines Ultralight C, Desfire EV1, Mifare Plus, Bluetooth and NFC technologies into one secure package. The key cannot be duplicated, unlike mechanical keys or some RFID technologies, and its encrypted data transfer uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) AES 128 bit encryption opening procedures. The intuitive JustIN mobile key app enables the person to receive his/her online access control key online, anytime and anywhere.

Smartphone access control or mobile keys mean the end of lost key hassle expense and waste of administrative time. They can be used on main entrance doors, elevators, car park barriers, meeting rooms, class rooms, hotel rooms and so much more. It's the ideal solution for any door where there is a need to control access.

One thing is for certain, the technology involved in mobile phones and mobile networks has developed so rapidly over the last few years that it's going to be an exciting ride.

So if you haven’t started thinking about smartphone access control, it’s time to start.

If you’d like to know more about our access control options please call us on 0113 273 0300 or email solutions@ait.co.uk