As part of our continuing coverage of the future of access control, Ledger technical editor Jerry Levine asked both a representative from an electronic access control company and an experienced locksmith to share their perspectives on the future of electronic access control (EAC). Following are the Ledger’s questions and answers from Bruce Lindstrom, Northeast regional sales manager for Salto Systems, and Glenn Younger, co-owner of Grah Safe and Lock.
Q & A: Bruce Lindstrom
What do you see as the future of electronic access control? Please discuss new products, credentials and software.
Salto will continue to develop new locking devices to help reduce the number of mechanical keys required in a facility so that everyone uses their credential instead of metal keys. Salto has released a number of new products, which utilize a low- cost electronic cylinder for use in mortise and rim cylinders and electronic padlocks. Recent releases include a wireless cylinder, a rack server handle and an electronic cam lock. Electronic locks have been released for securing many smaller cabinets and lockers.
For new credentials, the obvious pick here is the expansion of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology into the U.S. market. This Smartphone technology has been utilized in Europe and the Pacific Rim where Salto has been shipping NFC-capable locks for over half a dozen years. Here in the United States, it means your Smartphones with enabled NFC will replace credentials and credit cards. This is a technology shift. After all, who leaves home without their cell phone? NFC will make your phone indispensable.
More and more programs are moving to the cloud. We will see more products that are cloud-based for low to medium security applications.
How is your company responding to Electronic Access Control challenges? What is your company doing to restrict unauthorized access? Do you see security increasing by implementing biometrics and/or a second credential?
For a manufacturer, the challenge is always to remain ahead, developing new hardware and software solutions that separate Salto Systems from others. While the United States is slow in accepting new card technologies, the NFC technology may actually help the United States to leapfrog into the forefront. Many companies are heavily invested in magnetic stripe and low frequency 125 kHz proximity technology that are easily duplicated.
Salto Systems has several features that help to eliminate unauthorized access. Card + PIN is one higher level approach to defeating stolen cards and unauthorized access. The Salto Virtual Network technology (SVN) core feature is the re-validation of credentials for a short period of time. A unique feature of SVN, it updates credentials and eliminates lost cards. The use of wireless readers also enables immediate deletion of lost or stolen cards.
Does Salto Systems provide training for locksmiths who are interested in expanding their business?
Salto Systems has a dealer program where selected locksmith companies can become certified as Salto Inspired Business Partners (called IBPs). Salto System products are not available through locksmith distribution.
Where do you see electronic access control in five, 10 and 20 years?
It is so hard to predict things in the short term, forget the long term. Certainly, the NFC phones will make life a bit easier. We are still strongly attached to metal keys and cards but the cost of electronics is dropping. The convergence of physical security/access control at the residential level will grow as people add CCTV and home automation. What can we expect in 20 years? We will have to ask Bill Gates’ kids!
Note from Lindstrom: The comments made are from my personal point of view and are not necessarily those of the Salto Systems Management.