Market needs to smarten up on wireless locks

London, UK

Assa Abloy starts education campaign to dispel the myths on wirelesss locking systems

Chris Bone, Vice President, access control solutiions, EMEA, Assa Abloy

According to Chris Bone, Vice President, Access Control Solutions, EMEA,at Assa Abloy, the company's own data predicts that wireless locks could make up 30% of the total market within a decade. However, when the company worked with Ifsec global last year on a major market survey of security managers, industry insiders and decision-makers, they encountered some big surprises. The conclusion: our market knows less than we might think about wireless locks.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed thought that fitting a wireless access control system would be disruptive to an already fitted traditional system. "In fact", says Chris Bone, "wireless access control systems—including our own battery-powered Aperio locks—can run fully integrated with an existing wired system, even if it incorporates CCTV or energy management functions. Integrations have been exhibited, by Assa Abloy and other leading access control manufacturers. Installation is quick and easy."

Around a third of the respondents already using wired access control had no idea that wireless systems use much less energy. Because wireless locks are battery powered and only “wake up” when a credential is presented, they consume a tiny fraction of the power used by always-on wired mag locks.  This raises the question of battery life.   Also not a problem according to Bone.  "That’s another market myth shared by close to 100% of our research group, who expected wireless lock batteries to drain too quickly. In fact, our own Aperio or Smartair locks run for approximately 2 years on a new battery."

It is commonly thought that wireless locks do not support multiple credentials.  Unfortunately, this is yet another misconception.  Products that offer multi-authentication via PIN, smart card or mobile phone are available today and thanks to standards such as CE and EN certification, and even fire-rated accreditations, including for security doors, they are secure.

According to Assa Abloy, most ironic of all, over half of those surveyed cited “fear of the expense” as a reason not to upgrade to wireless. In fact, when major savings on energy costs and maintenance bills are factored in, even a fairly small facility could save thousands of euros by making the switch to wireless locks.

"The challenge is there. Potential is huge, but the market is suffering from some serious misconceptions. As a global industry leader we have begun a game of knowledge whack-a-mole, and all of us with a stake in the future of wireless access control need to get involved."  concludes Chris Bone.

Assa Abloy has launched a true facts campaign to try to dispel some of the myths associated with wireless access control — The campaign, called “Busting the myths about wireless access”— is aimed at professional end-users, and it is not solely focused on Assa Abloy locks, but concerns wireless locks in general.

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