New Touchless Electronics Products Improve Security And Safety

July 1, 2013
Our roundup of innovative new electronics products focuses on touchless door operators, switches, Bluetooth door controllers and access control devices and power supplies.

New electronic security products come to the market to address end users’ needs. One example is the threat posed by infection and communicable diseases. Sometimes they are used as weapons. Sometimes they are the consequence of poor hygiene and dense population. In some cases, such as healthcare facilities and schools, the occupancy of the premises is simply more prone to infectious and communicable disease.

Lines of defense against these diseases include antimicrobial sprays and hand washing dispensers, anti-microbial coatings applied to door hardware, and devices which make it unnecessary to touch door hardware in order to enter or exit.

Door operators are an example of a device which offers this functionality. Although full power door operators such as those used for supermarkets are automatic, low energy operators utilize devices referred to as knowing act switches to trigger the opening of the door. Traditionally these devices were switch plates that persons press when approaching the entrance.

A new class of knowing act switches is now available which do not require that the hand to come into physical contact with it. Therefore people can transgress the opening without ever actually touching the switch or the door, eliminating the possibility of depositing or acquiring a infectious or communicable disease due to contact.

We start our review of new electronic products with this category.

BEA Touchless Switches

BEA’s microwave motion sensor is used as a contact-free switch, providing excellent control and operation of automatic doors. Doppler Radar technology allows for use in sterile environments such as clean-rooms, healthcare facilities and food processing plants.

It can be placed unobtrusively in a room or hallway when mounted behind a non-reflective surface where the aesthetics demand it be inconspicuous. Variable adjustment of pattern depth from 4 to 24 inches.

No wearing parts mean increased product life. Water-resistant foam gasket provides increased durability when product is exposed to water or cleaning product

The MS-09 (PN:10MS09TL, 10MS09L) is an IP-65 rated version of BEA’s MS-08, a touchless switch that operates on the Doppler effect principle. A microwave signal is emitted from the sensor. When this signal is reflected from a target, the signal is compared to the original signal. If the target is moving, the frequency of the reflected signal is different from the emitted signal. This difference in frequency is processed and sends a signal to the door to open.

This switch provides excellent control of door operation for industrial doors by reducing energy costs. It also provides door control in sterile environments and has a sleek profile to limit dust collection. The MS-09 may be mounted behind various non-reflective materials such as plastic, wood, and glass. However, the thickness of any material put in front of the switch may affect the operation of the detector. Reflective materials such as metal will prevent the detector from working. The MS-09 has adjustments that allow the range of detection to be varied from 2 to 24” and relay hold time of the door to be varied from 1 to 10 seconds.

Viking Bluetooth Door Controller

The demand for hands-free access control is also on the rise. Hands-free solutions make it unnecessary for the person seeking access to touch a reader or keypad. These devices also provide for a greater throughput, and the devices are less intrusive and therefore more immune to vandalism. One new device from Viking harnesses the power of Bluetooth and the popularity of smartphones to enable standalone hands free credential-less access control.

The Viking BTC-1 allows a user to actuate a door strike or door controller by touching an icon on their Bluetooth-enabled Android phone or tablet. The BTC-1 can be preprogrammed with the type of contact needed, NO or NC, and the duration of the contact from 0.5 to 120 seconds. Continuous on is also supported (see current limits below). 

Security is maintained by way of encrypted communication as well as a programmable security key. The unit name is also user changeable to allow the use of multiple BTC- 1 units. All programming can be done through the free Android application available on Google’s Play Store.

The unit has an LED status indicator that shows if the unit is paired with a device, in programming, or idle. The BTC-1 is small enough to fit on a door frame and it can be powered from the door strike power supply. 

Applications include: Gate entrances, Door entrances, Condos, Apartment buildings and commercial.

Features include:

  • Wide supply range 12-24 VAC/VDC
  • Programmable One touch operation
  • Easy to use application software
  • Contact Rating: 2 amps at 24 volts AC or DC momentary, 1 Amp continuous
  • Dimensions: 65mm x 35mm x 20mm (2.56” x 1.38” x 0.79”)
  • Environmental: 0° to 32° C (32° to 90° F) with 5% to 95% non-condensing humidity
  • Connections: Three 18” long leads, 26 AWG
  • Range up to 60 feet, depending on obstructions
  • Remembers up to eight pairings

eFlow Power Supplies

We use power supplies to operate or locking systems and electronics. It is essential that our power supplies are reliable and efficient.

The Altronix eFlow Series is a new compact high efficiency power supply series. eFlow is a power supply/charger that converts a 120VAC, 60Hz input into a single VDC Class 2 Rated output.

Locksmith Ledger interviewed  Ronnie Pennington, national accounts manager, Altronix Corp. Following are Ledger’s questions and Pennington’s answers.

With all of the power supplies you currently offer, why introduce this new product line?

eFlow represents our next generation of power supply/chargers that deliver greater functionality and value along with our proven reliability and quality. eFlow is engineered with built in fire alarm interface, overvoltage protection that guards against equipment damage, low power shut-down to protect standby batteries from deep discharge and many other new features. We have also added features and benefits to reduce service and diagnostics costs for our customers and improve their ROI. We are also developing new multi-output models to fit more applications and accommodate more devices, along with a new optional module that allows for remote monitoring and management via web interface or SNMP protocol.

The eFlow is noticeably lighter and more compact than one would expect for its output rating. How come?

Physical characteristics are always a key design consideration when developing new products. Because it is lighter and more compact, eFlow helps reduce costs for manufacturing and shipping, which equates to savings for our customers.

What are the advantages of switching technology over linear technology? Is it sunset for linear technology or are there still applications where it is useful?

Switching technology is much more efficient than linear technology in power supply design, with lower heat dissipation, wider input voltage range, more power density and a more compact footprint. While eFlow power supply/chargers are filtered and have very low ripple and noise and are suitable for most applications, certain card readers still require linear power supplies.

Are installers and designers calling for remote monitoring features? Which features are most sought after and which ones do you expect will gain popularity? Why and in which system environments?

Service and maintenance calls are very costly, both in time and in dollars. By providing a remote means of monitoring, managing and troubleshooting the system, you can improve ROI and add a new revenue stream along with a higher level of service for your customers with less downtime and faster repairs.

For example, you may determine that your customer is experiencing a simpler issue that does not require you to dispatch service. Some of the most important information about power supply system status includes real-time monitoring of input voltage, output voltage, current draw, battery status and power supply temperature. If a problem is detected remotely, you can often diagnose the issue prior to the service technician arriving on location, so that technicians can be better prepared – ensuring successful service calls the first time.

Securitron Wireless PowerJump

Electronic access control often requires that power for a lock be connected from the door frame over to the moving door which up until now required that a wire of some type run between the two. Two issues are associated with wired power transfers; that the device will possibly be subject to vandalism, and the wire which will have to move or flex every time the door moves, will eventually wear out.

An additional issue often encountered with wired power transfers is that they are necessarily installed on the hinge side of the door, but electrified hardware such as an electrified lever set is on the latch side of the door, and this requires drilling a raceway for the wire or getting the power from the transfer device to the locking device. In the case of labeled doors (Fire Doors) this can pose a problem, especially for a retrofit, where modifications to the fire door assembly are highly restricted.

Securitron has solved this problem with its new PowerJump™ wireless power transfer device. The PowerJump ICPT ports power contactlessly and invisibly across the door gap to run electrified hardware on the door. With flexible installation placement on the latch side, hinge side or top of the door, it transfers power without pins or wires, eliminating points of vulnerability and wear … and no need to core drill the door.

Features include:

  • Flexible mounting: can be installed on hinge side, latch side or top of frame
  • Dual Voltage output 12VDC or 24VDC field selectable
  • Two wire connections on frame and door.
  • Continuous or intermittent duty for fail secure devices
  • Use with electrified locks, latches or other door hardware requiring up to 6 watts (0.5A @12VDC) of power
  • Adhesive backed templates for accurate installation
  • Endurance:  2,000,000 cycles
  • Operating Temperature: -40 to +120F [-40 to +49C]

The device is UL10C Listed and ANSI/SDI-BHMA A250.13 (+/- 150 psi) Windstorm Listed.

Sparrow Motion Detector

Multi-tasking is become a part of our lives, and so it makes sense that we also use products which are designed for multiple applications. The BEA Sparrow is a motion detector suited for either door control or security applications. It is part of the BEA family of products which can be programmed/adjusted wirelessly, and engineered to deliver the promised functionality. Their microwave technology sensors are actually more stable and reliable than other manufacturers’ PIR products, and I have never had to pull a BEA sensor because it failed its mission.

The Sparrow is designed for security and access control environments. It is ideal for any application utilizing motion detection and request to exit. Its adjustable microwave antenna and 180-degree mounting provides flexibility in configuring the detection zone.

Applications include any microwave motion detection application where security and access control is desired.

• Positioning: -180º to +180º in reference with the mounting central axis

• Maximum mounting height of 20 ft

• Parameter adjustment via BEA’s universal remote control

• Can be utilized for both interior and exterior environments (IP64 enclosure)

More Info

For more information on the products listed in this article, contact your local locksmith distributor or the following manufacturers:



Securitron Magnalock Corp.:

Viking Electronics:

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.