Ask the Experts | Ask the Electronic Access Ace

Question:

I heard there is Bluetooth Technology in Credentials, what does that mean?

 

Answer:

With the onset of Bluetooth technology in the access control world, we are now able to use BLE (Bluetooth Enabled) devices to provide credentialing versus the traditional card/fob/similar format product. This is a great leap in both in technology and convenience and is becoming widely accepted as the way forward in this product category. Here are a few questions/answers to keep in mind as you choose your BLE credential:

Is this technology convenient?
Utilizing a Bluetooth credential is very convenient but there are a few additional steps involved with its use. First, you will likely have to download an application for that particular product (most are readily available and free for iPhone and Android based phones/products through any application store). After you have the app loaded, you will actually have to acquire an electronic credential for the particular product line you will be using (various ways of accomplishing this depending on the manufacturer). One of the largest conveniences of the BLE credential is the ability to grant a user access to a location remotely without having to arrange the delivery/in-person acquisition of a physical credential.

What is the immediacy (latency) of a BLE credential?
While convenient and reliable, the BLE credential has a slightly longer latency period (“reaction time”) than a traditional physical credential. What this means is that when a user approaches an opening, presents the BLE credential, they will probably experience a slight delay while waiting for the system to recognize the BLE credential and allow access. Although this delay isn’t significant (possibly a few seconds at most), it is not an “immediate” release of the secured door. There are settings on the various BLE manufacturers’ products to accommodate for this (larger read range, etc.), but this latency can be a factor and if it is mission critical for the particular opening to have an immediate read/release response for a presented credential, this latency should be considered before installation at that opening.

Are there any issues with availability of the BLE credential
As above, with the onset of the BLE capable devices the availability of the BLE credentials is ever-increasing. These days there are many ways to acquire these credentials—factory direct, through distribution, etc. The cost of the individual credentials can vary but typically are not significantly more cost than a high-security physical credential would be, and can be authorized remotely, adding to the convenience and ease of use for the system administrator.

Are the BLE credentials secure?
The BLE credentials are as secure and unique as any other form of credential—individually serialized, can be facility coded, authorized for specific areas, times, etc.. Further, in addition to the requirement of having to possess the BLE credential, most of the BLE versions are locked behind password protected screens, fingerprint/facial recognition software, so in reality these credentials are hidden behind two/three-factor protected security!

As technology continues to evolve in the access control community, IDN strives to be a leader in this market. You can acquire a variety of high quality, multi-featured BLE capable products at all of the IDN branch locations throughout North America. Contact your local IDN branch for additional information or to place an order.

 
 
In addition to a broad offering of product and service solutions, IDN offers pre-sale and post-sale technical support. The benefit to you is that We Make Security Simple. Whether your task is related to high-security systems, electronic access control, door installation, or other, our experts are here to assist. Just let us know how we can help.

Do you have a question, or need a quote? Contact your local IDN Branch, or ask the Electronic Access Control Ace through our website.

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