By David Ella, Vice President – Product and Partner Programs
Use of mobile credentials has been widely discussed for the last few years, and AMAG is excited to be the first major access control manufacturer to offer their own range of Apps and Bluetooth Low Energy readers. Introducing Symmetry Blue, a range of smartphone enabled readers that allow entry through doors using a cell phone as the credential.
What sets Symmetry Blue apart? Its cost effectiveness. There is no need for any separate subscription or licensing, or the use of any third party software for it to operate. This will enable the technology to advance into mainstream implementation. Symmetry Blue readers connect directly to Symmetry door controllers just like any conventional card reader.
Are we going to see the demise of the white plastic smart card? We don’t think that’s going to happen, and that’s one of the reasons why AMAG’s new readers also support a variety of different card types alongside the Bluetooth capability within the devices.
Using a cell phone as a credential will be extremely helpful for AMAG customers, especially in environments where users tend to lose or forget their cards, where there are occasional attendees at a particular site, for visitors or contractors where you do not want to issue an identity badge, or as a second credential to be used alongside a plastic card.
However in higher security environments, where a plastic identity badge with a photo is required to be displayed, or where it’s policy not to attached devices to the network and Internet, then the card is clearly king.
Many organizations will adopt a hybrid approach, keeping both the card and the smartphone using Symmetry’s multiple credentials per cardholder capability. A hybrid approach will allow users to slowly changeover to the new technology, or provide the option to use a card where increased security is needed. The Bluetooth reader capability could be added to lower security doors or just the minimum number of doors required to enable access to the workplace.
It’s going to be interesting to watch Symmetry Blue roll out into the AMAG user community. Maybe in five years time we will look back with amazement at the use of the plastic card for access control. Stranger things have happened, especially as the smartphone as we know it didn’t exist ten years ago.