Locksmiths today are faced with many changes that make running a profitable business even more challenging. This includes things like increased competition (locksmith spammers), do-it-yourselfers replacing their own hardware, the arrival of keyless entry locks, cars with remote control locks and keyless ignitions. Soon clients will be able to unlock cars and their houses using nothing but their smartphone. All this means that locksmiths need to remain vigilant for new ways to profit by adding new products and services to replace what may be lost to changes in hardware and technology.
Unfortunately, when it comes to access control devices like intercom systems, many locksmiths choose to pass this business onto security system installers when a customer asks for some sort of access control. Given the simplicity of installing some of these devices, there’s really no reason for locksmiths not to profit from this type of equipment.
One of the most challenging aspects of installing an access control device is running the cable between the door and the inside points of control. Fortunately this problem is eliminated by using wireless devices. Not only does wireless make installation easier, but it also gives the client mobility so they don’t have to be confined to one location to answer calls from visitors. In fact, in some cases they don’t even need to be home or in their business.
Wireless entry intercoms available currently use three different wireless technologies: two-way radio frequencies, digital spread spectrum frequencies, and new devices that use the cell-phone network.
Cell Phone Network Intercoms
A cell phone network intercom uses the same cell phone network as a mobile phone so no wiring is required. Just add cell phone service to the intercom, apply power, program some settings using text messaging, and you’re ready to go!
Unlike standard telephone entry units, a cellular intercom can call any landline or cell phone, no matter where in the world it is - not just a phone inside the building. That gives your client unlimited mobility to ensure they never miss a visitor. Even while they are away, they have the ability to activate a gate opener or electric door lock by pressing a key on their telephone keypad while talking to a visitor. Or they can send a text message to the door or gate anytime to unlock or open it. In the event of a party or other situation where they want their entry to remain open, they can send a text message to latch it in the open position. When they want the gate closed again, another message is sent to close it.
Another benefit of cell phone network intercoms is that clients can program visitors’ cell phone numbers into the system. Then visitors just have to dial the phone number of the intercom and the gate opens based on their phone’s Calling Line ID. Now any cell phone can become a remote gate or door opener.
Cell Phone Intercom features include:
- Tough yet attractive vandal resistant entry units.
- No range limits (just requires cell phone service at the mounting point)
- Calls both mobile phones and land lines
- Rings up to three telephone numbers in sequence when the call button is pressed
- Available in keypad and non-keypad versions
- Gate/door release relay built in, simply key press to open
- Compatible with any door or gate opener that needs a switch closure to operate
- Send SMS text message to the intercom to trigger, latch or unlatch the relay
- Access control for up to 100 numbers using caller ID, at no call cost (ring intercom to open gate or door)
- Using a limit switch (a burglar alarm-type switch), users can send SMS to the intercom to check if their gate or door is opened or closed
- Open access mode –any non-stored number can call the intercom and press * to open when using a password.
- Remotely programmable through text messaging
- Can be powered from a gate operator supply or solar power.
This self-contained unit is attractive, discreet, easy to install, and is less a target for vandals than a separate camera and enclosure would present.
Applications include vehicle entry gates and healthcare providers like managed care facilities.
Since many of these products are available over the Internet as do-it-yourself projects, the locksmith’s challenge is to convince your customers that you specialize, customize and assemble the exact...