INTERSEC 2015: HID Global readies mobile access solution
Premises access granted through smartphone gesture control, in telco-independent offering
Access control company HID Global has come up with a way of combining premises security with the rising proliferation of smartphones in the region, via an app that permits authorised access through a simple gesture.
The company is highlighting the offering at Intersec 2015, the security industry trade show being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 18 to 20 January.
The solution secures doors with access readers designed by HID Global. Access is permitted through digital credentials embedded in a mobile app built by the company for both Android and iOS.
"A lot of companies are working with mobile access, but our solution is different because we don't have to work with any telecommunication operators," said Nat Pisupati, regional sales director, Middle East and Africa, HID Global. "We have our own portal, which we can control based on the needs of the end user."
The solution was launched in 2014, but while HID has yet to install a complete system, Pisupati spoke of a number of proofs of concept already running, and said the company was "pretty close" to its first live rollout.
The solution is available through HID Global's distribution channel and Pisupati said particular demand was being seen for it in the government sector.
The two components of reader and app work together via NFC and Bluetooth. While anyone can download the app from online stores, the solution only becomes useful once system admins push virtual credentials to the user's device.
"With NFC, you achieve a short reading-range, like if you were using a card, but with Bluetooth, you can also activate the reader from a longer range," explained Jaroslav Barton, director, PACS, HID Global. "In order not to cause false activation of the reader while you are [just] passing by, [the system] is activated by a so-called ‘twist-and-go' feature."
Users activate the twist-and-go function through gesture control, by holding their device upright and then twisting to a 90-degree position, like turning a doorknob. The on-board virtual credentials take care of the rest.
Users with an iPhone do not need to unlock their handset to make the gesture, leading, Barton argued, to added convenience for the end user. But wouldn't this constitute a security concern for stolen iPhones?
Barton said a single call to a system administrator would block access to a stolen device.
"Stealing your phone is like stealing your card, but if your phone gets lost, you [become aware of it] much quicker than if you lose an access card," he said.