Access control devices are migrating to IP and wireless technology


Access control devices are today not only efficient and high on performance, but are also easy to use

By Richa Chakravarty

Tuesday, May 27, 2014: Access control systems have long been perceived as just security tools but, over the years, various industries have adopted them. Beyond security, access control systems are helping commercial establishments, the hospitality sector and residential complexes in increasing operational efficiencies.

Manufacturers in the security and surveillance sector are introducing devices that are not only efficient and high on performance but are also easy to use. ‘Access control system’ is a term that covers a wide range of products such as video door phones, body scanners, metallic door frames, baggage X-ray machines, electronic locks and keys, boom barriers and turnstile doors. However, the major changes are happening more on the software side than in the hardware.


What’s new in the market

Access control devices are now biometrics-based and, hence, provide users the convenience of not carrying an extra key or card. This also sets users free from the hassle of remembering passwords. However, this article does not cover physical/biometric access control devices.

Shift to IP-based devices: All access control devices are now migrating to the Internet Protocol (IP), which makes it easier for manufacturers to scale up and customise physical access control systems. Using one network to control multiple solutions has a lot of benefits. Gone are the days when a single device had limited expandability. From door locks to video door phones, from luggage scanners to metallic door frames, all access control devices are now becoming network-based.

Door controllers, luggage scanners and turnstile doors, too, are being migrated to IP. At critical, heavily crowded areas like railway stations, airports, exhibition centres, shopping malls, metro stations, etc, where the luggage inflow is huge, a large number of scanners are installed. All these scanners have now been converted to IP-based technology and are connected with each other. They are easily monitored through one control room, and alerts are sent to individual scanners in case a suspicious object is identified. Connecting all these machines to a control room not only enables a cross-check, but also helps the control room to send out alerts when immediate action needs to be taken. Apart from this, these baggage X-ray machines can store a vast number of scan images for later reference or checking, informs Sanjay Kansal, marketing head, ECIL Rapiscan Ltd.

Multiple channels: Door controllers are now available in 4, 16 and 32 channels. These are robust and can work in the harshest of environments and in a variety of applications. By employing open interface protocols, manufacturers have the flexibility of selecting from a wide range of currently available identification devices, which include proximity-based solutions and those based on biometrics.

In September 2013, Hong Kong-based Secureye launched a four-door controller with eight readers. “This door controller, the S-IP4D8R, comes with a cascading facility, which means that it can be connected over the network and a single panel can control all the doors in the building. With this facility, the user can do away with the extra installation cost,” says Kirshna Mohan, product manager, biometric and access control, Fortune Marketing Pvt Ltd.

All-in-one solutions: Taking advantage of IP technology, manufacturers are now providing complete solutions by integrating security, access control and video surveillance in one system. As per the requirements, manufacturers have installed incident response systems, perimeter detection systems and alarm monitoring systems also. Integration of other products along with access control devices makes the system flexible. Door controllers have the IP camera integration feature, so that when an event occurs, snapshots of the occurrence can be taken in real time. These devices can support Web-based software also, explains Akhilesh Gupta.

In 2013, Enterprise Software Solutions Lab Pvt Ltd (eSSL) launched the In-Bio 460 door controller that can be integrated with other security systems such as CCTV cameras, intrusion detection systems, fire alarms and elevator controls for a complete security system. “With ZKAccess Software, advanced access control capabilities are built into the hardware. These include anti-pass back, dual and multi-card authentication and duress code (other than the password or safety pin informing the police or emergency contact person),” informs Ankit Shrivastava, regional head, channel sales, eSSL.

Offering complete professional range of access control system based on advanced motion control technique is Bosch’s Access Easy Controller 2.1. It comes with four readers which is expandable to 32 readers and can integrate CCTV camera, Live view, archive retrieval, event verification and in-window PTZ. It also supports multiple languages and helps in monitoring intrusion at up to 64 input and control points.

Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+): PoE+ is a technology that supplies power over a Cat5 cable. For each door, only one Cat5 cable needs to be run to it to power both the reader and the lock. This is one of the most cost-effective and convenient technological changes introduced. For large buildings, this reduces cabling costs immensely. Big corporate houses, residential complexes, hotels, malls, etc, can get significant cost savings. Today, all the devices are gradually becoming cable free and are being run via the Internet and Wi-Fi. Attendance registering machines, video door phones and electric locks are all moving to wireless technology.

Matrix Comsec’s Cosec Vega door controllers have wireless connectivity with Power over Ethernet (PoE), a touchscreen, faster credential identification and user-friendly graphical user interfaces (GUI), which offer complete solutions to all organisations.

Making a purchase decision

speakersWhen looking for access control devices, users should consider whether their current investment can earn future benefits. They should also ensure that the devices or solutions used are simple and can easily adapt to future infrastructure enhancements and modifications. Hence, opting for IP-based solutions is recommended, as users can invest in hardware platforms that are not tied to proprietary software. It is also advisable to buy access control devices that are expandable.

Buyers should also look at features and capacity, keeping individual requirements in mind. For instance, the design, battery capacity, connectivity options, ease of operation and installation, vary from one firm to the next.

Along with the choice of solution and platform, users should also ensure that the device selected is simple and easy to install and monitor.

Apart from the above features, a buyer should also consider the following:

  • The advanced connectivity options available

  • The kind of architecture available

  • Usage environment

  • Upgradability and scalability

  • Training and support

  • Advanced features like guard tour, man trap, occupancy control, anti-pass back, facility code, etc. 

Fortune Marketing offers SecurEye’s S-IP4D8R door controller

  • fortuneCard holder: 54,000 cards supported with Wiegand 26/34 bit reader

  • Global anti-pass back support (GAPB)

  • Integrate with IP camera and fire alarm system

  • Supported by web-based software and multiple time zone and alarm features


Matrix’ Cosec Vega door controller

  • matrix8.89 cm (3.5”) Touch sense LCD

  • Fingerprint, proximity, smartcard, NFC and PIN

  • 50,000 users and 500,000 events

  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet and mobile broadband (2G/3G)

  • Door lock and door sense


Bosch’s access easy controller 2.1

  • boschSupports up to 20,480 card holders and 100,000 transactions

  • Classifies cardholders based on 254 access groups

  • 255 time schedules, 32 regular and 32 special holidays

  • Anti-passback (APB) capabilities

  • 8 alarm zones and attendance capture

  • E-mail or SMS alert for critical events


eSSL’s In-Bio 460 door controller

  • esslOver-current protection, over-voltage protection and reversal protection for the power supply and all of the input and output terminals

  • Reliable network system of controllers using either TCP/IP or RS-485 serial communication

  • Supports different Wiegand formats, and connects to ZK readers as well as HID, Mifare and generic ID card readers

  • Shows door status in real-time and allows remote command of door open/close state

  • Anti-pass back, dual and multi-card authentication and duress code


ECIL Rapiscan’s 632DV pallet and cargo scanner

  • ecilAdvanced cargo screening

  • Automatic detection of explosives and narcotics

  • Dual-view technology

  • Break bulk and pallet cargo

  • TSA air cargo screening qualified technology list (ACSQTL)

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