Access control for commercial applications has changed dramatically in the last decade. In the past, the majority of access systems installed by locksmiths were usually small, limited to a few doors, and required minimal wiring. Locksmiths stayed away from bigger integrated hard wired systems because of the time, labor and materials involved in installing this type of multi-door project.
Many locksmiths view installing the access control door hardware and programming the system as the easy part; the real challenge involved is the wiring material costs and the labor of running all the wiring to inter-connect the system.
A lower-cost option in a multiple door system is to install stand-alone access control units. The limitation of stand-alone is that auditing activity and adding or deleting users generally requires someone to physically visit each door and use a laptop, PDA or data transfer module to upload and download information. That data is then transferred back to the PC or printer for evaluation. Those customers needing the capability to monitor real-time events or to make instant changes to their database to eliminate an employee were forced to go with hard-wired, labor-intensive applications.
Two market changes have created the opportunity for a new wireless access control system called BlueWave.
One, building security systems have migrated from twisted-pair and coaxial cable to standard Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP) networks for data communications. Two, the world has adopted the 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard for enterprise wireless communications.
BlueWave Security provides Wi-Fi access control and security management solutions. The company has partnered with wireless and security providers such as Clark Security Products, General Lock & Security, Monitronics International, the Wi-Fi Alliance and Symbol Technologies to bring these products to market.
Simply stated, the BlueWave and related products allow you to work with a customer’s existing IT setup (Wi-Fi, Ethernet or a combination of the two) and can be managed by their in-house IT department.
BlueWave offers two controller/readers and the related software that are compatible with most electronic locking devices; electric strikes or electromagnetic locks. An HID prox reader is combined with a controller to operate with either Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections.
The CR101 Wi-Fi Lock Controller/Reader uses standard 802.11b wireless communications with support for WEP and WPA encryption and manages the door lock and card reader locally and connects wirelessly to the BlueWave Software.
The CR101 Ethernet Lock Controller/Reader uses a wired CAT5 cable to connect to wired Ethernet networks and manages the door lock and card reader when an Ethernet connection is available or a Wi-Fi connection is not available. Features include anti-pass back, 2000 users stored locally, unlimited users on the network, 250 audit events stored locally, door sensor input, tamper-proof optical switch, two alarm outputs, two REX inputs, distributed administration and real-time control of each door.
BlueView Access Control Software defines access control lists and maintains audit information. Stand-Alone Workstation and ASP versions of the software are available. The three main components of the system access a common, central database located on the network.
BlueView Administrator is used to configure and manage users, groups, time zones, shifts, badges, special events and reports.
BlueView Monitor is used by guards or operations personnel to track people as they come and go, as well as control the door remotely.
BlueView Badge Server manages the communication with the controllers at each door, downloading updated access control lists and uploading audit events.
BlueWave delivers all of the features of networked panel-based access control systems, minus the panels, conduit and long wire runs, at about the cost of a stand-alone lock.
The system consists of an HID prox lock controller at each door and network-based software. Each door connects to the existing Wi-Fi or Ethernet network to deliver real-time management over the local area network, or remotely over a wide area network or over the internet. The system can be expanded one door at a time.
In a Wi-Fi installation, power is supplied locally at each door to operate the reader and locking device. Data is communicated through the Wi-Fi Access Point. Standard installation is required for the locking hardware. If a customer doesn’t have a Wi-Fi network, most electronics stores provide a choice of Wi-Fi routers for a minimal cost. For most installations, installing a Wi-Fi network is easier and cheaper than pulling cable.
If a Wi-Fi network is already in use, installation is limited to the door location and initializing the Wi-Fi Access Point. The customer’s IT department will likely be involved in installing and managing the software and configuring the Wi-Fi communications module in the controller / reader.
With an Ethernet installation, the option exists to consolidate everything you need to one cable. This means if you have an internet device, the same CAT5 cable that supplies the data transmission to the device can also supply electrical power. The obvious savings is that you only need to run a single cable to the device. In most situations, anyone can run a CAT5 cable to get power to these devices. You probably do not need an electrician. As with any installation, check with your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to be sure you are complying with applicable codes.
If a building is already wired with Ethernet cabling, you usually just need to run from the nearest outlet to the door in question. The IT department will assign the plug an IP address.
In a PoE installation, the PoE injector is located right next to your existing hub, and the Injector is plugged into a standard AC outlet and for ultimate system protection, a UPS battery backup.
A standard CAT5 cable is used between the PoE Injector and the PoE Splitter which is located right next to the door. With one cable you have now provided the required network connection and all the power that will be needed at the door site.
What makes the PoE work with BlueLink Controller/Readers is the fact that each of the CR101 units is simply an internet device. The BlueLink IP Controller/Readers come with a female RJ45 connector which allows you to plug your Ethernet cable directly into one of the PoE Splitters, right at the door.
Wi-Fi has penetrated most Fortune 2000 companies. As a result, there are many opportunities to sell physical security products based on that standard.
Almost any new building or substantial commercial remodel will include providing Ethernet and Wi-Fi capability.
Because BlueWave uses the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, it is recognized as a reliable protocol that integrates a variety of data and physical security solutions. It is the worldwide acceptance of this technology that provides ample opportunity for BlueWave sales to your customers.
Many security directors are finding that technology purchasing decisions are being made in conjunction with Information Technology (IT) administrators. As this trend continues, the IT administrators will be more likely to manage the physical security network instead of the traditional security professionals. As the areas continue to converge, only those products based on open IT standards will be considered secure, viable products.
Additional uses are being evaluated.
A partnership has been developed with Intellikey to utilize their electronic cylinders combined with BlueWave in a retrofit kit. This allows standard mortise locks to be easily converted to centrally managed, access controlled locks using the customer’s existing Wi-Fi or Ethernet data network.
Each managed door connects to the existing Wi-Fi or Ethernet network to deliver real-time management over the local area network, or remotely over a wide area network or the internet. If you have an existing Intellikey customer or system that you would like to discuss upgrade/retrofit compatibility, contact BlueWave or Clark Security Products.
Other popular stand-alone access control products are currently being evaluated for upgrade potential with a BlueWave modem and compatibility with BlueWave technology.
A variety of access control-related products including biometric devices, key switches, keypads, etc have the potential to expand the reach of BlueWave technology across the spectrum of commercial / industrial building security.
BlueWave Security is exclusively available through Clark Security Products and is sold only to certified installers. Level 1 Certification is required to purchase BlueWave Security products. Level 2 certification is being scheduled.
Factory authorized Level 1 training is available at on-site educational seminars and through online webinars. Special pricing for demo units is made available at the certification training sites.
You are invited to attend the BlueWave Security Level 1 Dealer Certification training. These live web seminars will provide a company and product overview, and an introduction to the advantages of using Ethernet or Wi-Fi instead of proprietary networks.
For more information, call BlueWave at (512) 996-0635, go to www.BlueWaveSecurity.com or E-mail information@BlueWaveSecurity.com. Or contact your local Clark Security Products branch (www.clarksecurity.com), Clark Security Products Tech Center (866) 617-TECH or BlueWave Tech Center (866) 408-6182.