School Security at ISC West

May 4, 2022
Several new products have potential applications in the education market.

At the ISC West trade show in Las Vegas in March 2022, several manufacturers displayed new products that could be used for applications in the education market. Although most are aimed at higher education (colleges and universities), here are a few products that stood out.

Marks USA introduced a line of architectural locks that are integrated with LatchOS, an enterprise software as a service (SaaS) platform that’s moving into multifamily applications, including college housing. The line is called, appropriately enough, Architectural Hardware Powered by Latch.

“These locks are designed for multifamily, whether campus or standard,” says Roy Miller, a locksmith and sales director at Marks USA. He notes that combining Marks’ proven mechanical hardware, including an automatic deadbolt functionality, and Latch’s app adds value to the security pro. “[Security pros] want to provide security and want to be relevant in the market.”

The locks, in cylindrical and mortise versions, are aimed at retrofit applications and can handle access by card, smartphone or smart watch (through the Latch app) or a virtual keypad that lights up when you touch it. Miller adds that the Latch app can be tied to smart-home applications, such as a thermostat or even lighting. The locks are aimed at a year-end 2022 release.

Among a bevy of new electric strikes on display by Camden Door Controls was the CX-EPD1289L, which is a rim strike that can accommodate up to 15 pounds of preload pressure. This is particularly notable for high-traffic doors, such as school egress doors, where a rim strike most likely would be used, says David Price, vice president of communications and corporate development.

Installing rim strikes on these doors has been a challenge, because any pressure on the keeper of the rim strike will cause the strike to bind,” he says. “The rim strike has to be installed perfectly to avoid this, and it’s a huge challenge for installers who don’t have much experience.”

Because of the capability, this strike is expected to be more forgiving upon installation and outlast models where preload pressure and possible door binding can cause performance problems. The new rim strike is expected to be out by the third quarter of 2022.

Access Control

Meanwhile, SALTO Systems announced a new platform for its line of smart locks, called Homelok Powered by Nebula, which is available right away. Nebula is cloud-based access control software that’s aimed at multifamily housing, such as apartments and campus living, says Steve Burk, SALTO Systems North America director of marketing and vertical businesses.

Nebula brings the power of SALTO’s on-premises SVN-Flex technology to the cloud, so credentials can be updated from anywhere via the Nebula app. One new capability will be to store mobile credentials in Apple Wallet. This means that a lock that has SALTO’s new chipset, which the recently released XS4 Original+ has, will open even if the phone or app isn’t turned on.

“Eventually all SALTO locks will have this capability,” Burk says. He adds that although the Original+ has been in the market for a few months, all of the locks already have this capability without requiring a firmware update.

Finally, ProdataKey (PDK) showed off its newly expanded line of Red readers, door controllers and mobile credentials. The line originally featured a two-door controller and a Cloud Node. Now, Red includes one-, four-, eight-door and customizable (up to 24 doors) controllers.

All of the controllers access the pdk.io cloud-based software through the Cloud Node. The advantage of the cloud-based system is that it doesn’t require an on-premises computer system, says Brach Bengtzen, PDK director of marketing, and the potential problems that such a system might produce. “If the computer goes, so does the security system,” he says.

The Red line also includes new rugged readers that have an IK10 rating, which makes them resistant to vandalism and, thus, appropriate for school settings, according to Bengtzen. Another feature that’s valuable for schools: remote lockdown capability through the PDK Touch app. However, first responders can override the system as necessary.