Jul. 05, 2019

Modern Access Control – With a Smartphone

  • Mobile phones open up many possibilities in access control. (Photo: Assa Abloy/iStock)Mobile phones open up many possibilities in access control. (Photo: Assa Abloy/iStock)

According to official EU data, by 2016 94% of European large businesses were issuing their workers with some sort of connected mobile device.
With access control solutions like Smartair Openow by Assa Abloy, users can manage their access control systems directly with their smartphones.

Even though smartphones seem to be used for everything, mobile phones are still under-utilized when it comes to building security and access management. Evolving technologies now enable users to manage access rights via mobile phone apps or open a door with a virtual key credential. An estimated 44 million mobile credentials will be downloaded by 2021, according to a recent IHS Markit forecast.

With secure credentials on a user’s phone, there is no need for a plastic smart-card. A screen-lock adds an extra layer of Pin, swipe passcode or fingerprint security.
Security and facility managers are also much more flexible with virtual keys than they are with a plastic credential: They can issue, revoke or amend them instantly and from anywhere with secure cloud access via a mobile phone.

However briefly a temporary visitor needs to enter a building, the easiest way to let them in is with their phone. Mobile phones are machines built for connectivity, including with already existing RFID locks: Bluetooth and NFC radio technology are already inside most modern smartphones.

Another recent analyst report suggested as many as 20% of organizations would use smartphones for access, in place of plastic smart-cards by 2020.

“Other highly security-aware industries like banking demonstrate the advantages of the smartphone,” says Thomas Schulz, Director Marketing & Communications Digital and Access Solutions at Assa Abloy EMEA. “Similarly, we see fast-growing interest in unlocking doors and other openings with mobile credentials, and in facility managers administering access rights via their smartphone.”

“To take one example from our portfolio of mobile access solutions, security managers using our new Smartair Openow solution manage all users’ virtual keys inside a secure app. If an administrator cancels a virtual key, it vanishes immediately from a user’s Openow app.”

At the new Arkansas State University campus in Mexico, the system is already in use: Students and staff have no access cards to collect or validate.

Every site user installs and validates their own Openow app and collects keys virtually.

“Smartphones add convenience and functionality right across our wireless access control product and solutions portfolio,” adds Schulz. “Users can unlock our Aperio wireless locks with a Seos mobile credential. Small and medium-sized business managers can run their own access control with no specialist knowledge, using just the Cliq Go app and their phone. For companies with a remote workforce, the Cliq Connect app updates access rights of programmable keys with just a secure Bluetooth connection.”

“Access control from your mobile phone offers so many efficiency advantages. I’d encourage everyone involved in managing access control to take a look”, Schulz adds.


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