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Smartphone Access Control

The Smartphone: Simplifying Access Control


Smartphone access control, or mobile access control, is just another step in the quickly-advancing world of smartphone tech. This new technology allows your smartphone to act as your credentials for entering restricted spaces like an office, garage, or your home.


The first true smartphone was invented in 1992 but it was not until 1995 that people started calling it that. Aside from having the capability of making calls, it could also send and receive emails and faxes and had a calendar, address book, world clock. People were so amazed then.

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Three decades later, the smartphone has become a ubiquitous part of people’s lives. From teens to senior citizens, busy moms to career driven individuals, and store owners to CEO’s, smartphone ownership is pervasive. It is estimated that 80% of the world’s population stays in touch through mobile phones, a majority of which are smartphones.


While people were astounded by the capabilities of the first smartphones then, their offsprings are now capable of so much more. In fact, you can call them the swiss knives of gadgets. People use them to stream movies, listen to music, take photos and videos, play games, pay bills, transfer funds, and store tons of information. Smartphones have transformed the way people live and work.


It is therefore not a surprise that the smartphones are now used to access control credentials. In fact it makes sense. With people so reliant on their phones for every little task, they are unlikely to leave it anywhere unlike an access fob or smart card.



Smartphone access Control - How Does It Work?

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Using a smartphone credential is similar to using a smart access card. Two of the more popular communication standards used in smartphone credentials are Near Field Communications (NFC) and Bluetooth. Both use radio waves to transmit information.


What’s the difference between the two?


NFC consumes less power compared to Bluetooth and requires closer proximity to the reader to work. This means there’s a need to take out the phone from the pocket or bag to gain access.


On the other hand, Bluetooth offers a longer range of communication. You can gain access to areas like garages or parking lots from as far as 30 feet away without necessitating taking out your phone.


The type you use will be dictated by your needs. Though most people prefer the convenience that Bluetooth technology offers, there are cases when NFC works for better security. For instance, this is a better option for daycares, schools, hospitals, or workplaces.


In smartphone access control, it is the phone that tells the reader what information to look for. Access is granted once information checks out. Users’ permissions and credentials may be stored in the cloud or another secure location.



The Benefits of Smartphones as Access Control

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Convenience

With this technology, there is no need to punch in a code (which you may sometimes forget) or fumble around for a smart card kept in a wallet or pocket to gain access. People are likely to have their phones conveniently at hand instead of leaving it at home or at their work desk.


More Cost Effective

The cost for access cards, whether new issues or replacements for lost or damaged cards, can add up. Using smartphones as access credentials can significantly cut back on your cost in this area.


While the need to create physical access cards will still be there, since not every person owns a smartphone, this still results in reduced expenses.


More Secure

Smartphones have their own built in access security. A PIN, password, or fingerprint needs to be plugged in before a phone can be unlocked and used. Because of this, it makes it harder for anyone to use the credentials stored within to gain access to a facility or building. In contrast, with other access technology, a physical card is all that is needed.


People have grown to rely on their smartphones so much that they have practically become an extension of their arms. You are more likely to carry your phone around than leave it at your work desk or anywhere else, or have someone borrow it to use.


In the case that your phone is stolen, it will be noticed more quickly than a stolen access card. This makes it possible to block the phone from the list of allowed credentials faster to prevent any breach of security.


Finally apps used with smartphone access technology allow for more security. Secure apps with credential storage in a cloud or location other than the phone make it difficult to open up the app and consequently access the key. Furthermore, a secure app has deep levels of encryption that will prevent the Bluetooth signal from simply being copied and replayed to open the lock.


More Efficient

With a smartphone and app based access control system, less time is needed to set up and issue out credentials. “Keys” can be issued remotely from a centralized location as soon as information needed to create credentials is electronically transmitted to the central location.


There is no need for a facility manager to go from one office to another, or even from building to building to collect the much needed information.


“Replacement” of access is also more efficient. In cases of theft, loss, or change of phone, credentials can easily be transferred to a new device and deactivated from an old one. This is both efficient and more secure.



Advantages Over Other Access Control Systems

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Here are a few advantages of the smartphone access control system over other systems available.


Versus Keypad Systems
Keypad systems require a PIN to allow access. However, people can forget PINs. If this has happened to you, you’ll know that this is extremely frustrating. Another disadvantage is that PIN’s can be shared or stolen by people looking over your shoulder to illegally gain access.


If the PIN is universal, all keypads need to be reprogrammed when a person or employee leaves or resigns.


Versus Proximity Reader Systems

This access control system is still the most widely used because of the fairly higher level of security it provides. However, the cost of issuing access cards or replacement of lost cards can add up over time.


Versus Biometric Reader Systems

This system offers the highest level of security because it is very difficult to duplicate human characteristics used as access credentials. However, this requires considerable investment as biometric readers can still be expensive.



Get the Best Electronic Access Control Systems in Orange County


There are many benefits to making a switch to a smartphone-based access control system. However, there are also a lot of factors to consider before deciding on one that can address your needs.


If you are unsure on how to proceed in making the switch, Dick’s Lock and Safe can help.


We specialize in providing commercial and residential access control solutions. We carry a wide range of products that address security needs from the most basic to the most sophisticated.


Call us today for an appointment at (714) 528-3984 and our experts will be happy to discuss your security needs and provide a free onsite survey and estimate.


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