Which companies have the best access control apps? Not clear YET!

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Planet Of The Apps: ISONAS Pure IP Access Control At Your Fingertips

SDM magazine Senior Editor/Author, Karyn Hodgson, has just published a comprehensive article titled “Planet of The Apps”. She begins by explaining that “Apps are everywhere today, including the security industry. From residential and commercial user apps, to those targeted at helping the channel with sales, service and installation — we take a look at the current and future potential of this ubiquitous technology.”

We encourage you to read the article in its entirety at this link “Planet Of The Apps”.

Of particular interest to us is the following section which we have brought over to our blog with permission.

Access control systems more recently got on the app bandwagon, in part as the mobile and cloud trend began to push forward and end users were more interested in allowing remote control of doors and authorizations.

“In January of this year we launched the new version of Pro-Watch, which includes an app,” says Samir Jain, general manager, enterprise solutions, Honeywell Security and Fire, Melville, N.Y. “It is targeted to the end user or administrator. If you have someone locked out of a building that needs immediate access you can do that from the app. Or you can do the opposite and remove access. If you think about buildings where you have hundreds or thousands of people, you need the ability to quickly turn on and off access to different people. Administrators are seldom at their desk.”

This is the theory behind Aiphone’s apps, Czerwinski says. “Aiphone has offered end user apps for almost two years. They provide audio and visual input from our door stations, allow for remote opening of doors, and have paging capabilities.”

Another “app” that is heavily influencing the access control space right now is mobile credentials. “Apps for mobile access control and mobile identity checks have been the most useful in real access control projects,” says Dave Ella, vice president, products and partner programs, AMAG Technology, Torrance, Calif. “However, the big step forward [for us] is new Bluetooth apps for access control because, instead of them being used by a few security employees, they are now available for use by every employee, contractor and visitor to the company.”

As more security technologies get “app’d” that also brings a new challenge or opportunity for both manufacturers and security integrators. “On the residential side … you can say, ‘here is an app for the thermostat and security,’ but cameras may be separate systems [or not],” Jain explains. “The challenge on the commercial side is as an end user, do I have to limit myself to one manufacturer?”

Eric Widener, general manager, LOUD Security Systems, agrees. “Commercially there have been much larger concerns about apps on the network and whether you can keep the security when it comes to cyber threats. That has held back app usage. In the past it was limited to viewing cameras; but we are finding now that business owners are allowing us to put an app on their security system to allow principals to arm and disarm the system or for taking control of access and not have the need to be tethered to a full computer station.”

But as the residential world continues to mature into its app usage and the connected home trend advances, the influences on the commercial side regarding apps will likely be great. “When you have access to information at your fingertip, you come to expect it in all aspects of your life including how you manage your video surveillance and access control,” says Melissa Stenger, vice president of product management and marketing, ISONAS Inc., Boulder, Colo. “The pervasiveness of the IoT and consumer-focused brands like Nest are setting expectations for customers and the security industry has to keep up with demands from customers to compete.”

Matthew Langenkamp