Recently my lovely wife Joan took a rare business trip from Chicago to Nashville, Tenn., to attend the FiberConnect conference and to moderate some speaker panels. Since COVID we haven’t taken many airplane flights or trips, so she marveled at the changes in O’Hare Airport and airline protocols.
Joan takes the “L” train from our neighborhood to the airport and back. One thing that stood out to her is in the old days most train riders would be reading books or newspapers; now everyone is staring at their smartphones.
Like it or not we all have taken the bite from the apple and put a full-powered, internet-connected device into our pockets or purses. And while security is a constant problem and concern, the business world pushes forward with apps for just about everything. The other day I saw a TV ad for a new smart cat litter box with an internal drum that rotates after each use. The thing that got me was the litter box comes with an app for your phone. What information and control this app provides for the pet owner I can only imagine.
But what’s not useless is the integration of Keri Systems’ Borealis cloud solution and Geokey that can make authorized users’ smartphones function as their access control credential. With the proper authorizations a user can simply walk up to a controlled door, swipe their access point to the right and open the door.
Before we get into the importance of geofencing it’s important to note that the Borealis cloud access control head end combined with Geokey technology puts all of the typical access control settings and controls into the hands of authorized users, who can then access entry/exit data, change permissions, all of the now common access control system features.
Because Borealis is operating on the AWS cloud platform, any system or user changes can be accomplished from any internet device by authorized system administrators.
With the Keri/Borealis geofencing selected users can open a padlocked gate miles from the main office, with all actions from unlocking to locking the gate recorded in the cloud. // IMAGE COURTESY OF KERI SYSTEMS
What makes this system unique is the geofencing system. We are all aware that our smartphones know where we are by transmitting their longitude and latitude up to the cellular service provider. The Keri Borealis and Geokey integration can create a geofence around a specific building or buildings, where if an authorized user is within the pre-set longitude/latitude fence their phone can then be used as their access control card or credential. This prevents the user for unlocking doors from their home 30 miles away so they can let their criminal buddies into the building.
Installing dealers and end users can gather some cost savings as well because a controlled door will need cabling to power REX and door locks, but there will be no card/swipe credential readers needed, which will cut some costs out of a system. Eliminating the local head end PC and data storage not only will save customers money but potentially can increase overall system security as there’s no local PC to be hacked.
What I find intriguing is that these companies are expanding their controlled device offerings to include padlocks, safes and potentially drug or chemical cabinets.
What I find intriguing is that these companies are expanding their controlled device offerings to include padlocks, safes and potentially drug or chemical cabinets. Imagine a company that has remote storage for large equipment or inventory piles behind a locked fence. With the Keri/Borealis geofencing selected users can open a padlocked gate miles from the main office, with all actions from unlocking to locking the gate recorded in the cloud.
The key to this innovative geofencing access system is the individual user’s smartphone, which must have the app installed, have the phone’s location transmissions enabled and have their permissions programmed into the system.
While the programmable access control features of the Keri/Borealis system are fairly common to the physical security world, the usage of smartphones and apps from Geokey opens up a whole new world of potential for security dealers and customers. With this system, now an administrator can disable a user that’s been terminated without having to retrieve a physical card or key from the dismissed person. Alternatively, system administrators can arrange with new or temporary employees to access specific doors, locks, safes, etc., by programming the system to accept commands from the new person’s phone.
Although we may question it, the reality is people today are using their smartphones all the time, for a wide variety of purposes. Now the smartphone can become a secure method of issuing access control permissions, saving time and money for customers. Check out www.kerisys.com (link: www.kerisys.com)for more details.
Thanks to Keri representative Sean Leggott (my special man for 25+years) for his assistance with this column.