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Why the future of access control is in open IP solutions

Why the future of access control is in open IP solutions

With the Internet of Things taking hold, more and more devices are connected to the Internet, including security devices. This trend will also impact access control, which will be driven forward by open IP solutions.

That’s the conclusion drawn by a report published by Axis Communications, the IP video pioneer which has also migrated to other IP-based systems to realize its vision of an Internet of Security Things.

According to Pia Hantoft, Product Manager for Physical Access Control at Axis and author of the report, while access control systems have been adopted at many end user organizations today, a lot of them are proprietary systems offering limited flexibility. “This means customers are locked in to buying any extensions to these systems from the same vendor,” he said. “Updates or upgrades to include video or additional features are often complex, costly and time-consuming, as cables have to be laid and connected to a central unit or a central server.”

That’s where open IP solutions can come in handy, as they are easier to install and allow greater manageability. “Power locks, readers and other door equipment are now available with Power over Ethernet, which means one single cable provides both the data connection and electrical power and cabling is hugely simplified,” Hantoft said. “With every unit in the installation being a smart, connected device in itself, unlike with analog or hybrid systems, there is no need for a central server. As all communication from and to the devices runs via the IP network, administration can be done from virtually anywhere, using web-based software.”

But more importantly, open IP access control allows deeper integration with other IP-based systems that are also run on the network, for example video surveillance. With video integrated, “access control events can automatically trigger the recording of video, for example when access to a door has been denied, an invalid card is being used, or an individual tries to force a door open,” he said, adding non-security systems can be integrated as well.

“Other scenarios are possible where integration with facility management triggers the lights and air conditioning in a room to be switched on as employees access the building, or the door units control sensors that monitor temperature, moisture and room climate. In theory, any type of sensor can be added and the door units – as the modules facilitating communication between all those devices – would then form the intelligent backbone of a smart building system,” he said.

Hantoft concluded that open IP is the future of access control and what will ultimately drive it forward. “Innovation in the access control market has historically been slow. In video installations, the industry has seen a great amount of innovation since the shift from analog to network cameras. Now it is time for the access control market to catch up,” he said.

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