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AssaAbloy - Changing the locks: Interview about the revolution in access control Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 May 2014 07:43


The revolution in access control will be wireless, according to ASSA ABLOY’s Chris Bone. In fact, it’s already happening.

Euro Security: Before we start, Chris, perhaps you can tell us a little about your career in access control?

Chris Bone: I guess, an “industry veteran” is how you would describe me. I spent most of the 1980s in the Australian Army. I then joined Honeywell, and worked for them for 20 years. Over those 2 decades, I worked in almost every area of the industry but primarily in access control, from installation and tech support to product management and marketing, culminating in the project to secure the London 2012 Olympics. The experience has given me a very good overview of the industry. I have now brought my knowledge to ASSA ABLOY to apply to several access control product lines, but especially our wireless products like Aperio® and SMARTair™.

Euro Security: You mention wireless product lines, and it seems that electronic access control is gradually moving down the customer chain from large corporates to smaller businesses and beyond. Will wireless security penetrate all the way to the household level?

CB: It is already going on. Personally, I don’t understand why we still use keys. I don’t use a key in my own home. I have a Yale digital lock and a fob. My kids use a PIN to get in. Mechanical keys are our comfort zone, obviously, and digital locks are still a little expensive for the mass market user, but ASSA ABLOY is rapidly addressing that. Early adopters are there already. We sell thousands of residential digital locks every month in Scandinavia.

Euro Security: Apart from this “democratization” of wireless locks, what will the access control landscape look like in 5 years?

CB: Even the commercial market is still relatively untapped when it comes to access control. Maybe only 5 per cent of doors are integrated. And yet, I have still to meet a security manager who likes having to manage mechanical keys, which is why we have projects under way that cover thousands of doors, in properties which are trying to go completely keyless. This will be mainstream in less than 5 years, especially for new builds. Student accommodation is already there. And what’s driving this? Wireless products.

Euro Security:So, this is why ASSA ABLOY is increasingly focused on wireless products?

CB: The key advantage is that wireless access products allow you to get further into a building, with more locks. We have the SMARTair™ product line for standalone, smaller projects, and Aperio, which integrates with other security technologies installed, such as CCTV or an energy management system. Customer security and the user experience are both improved. University campuses are mainstream for us and our competitors. We are involved in projects in Africa, securing mining and petrochemicals sites. Hospitals, arenas, and so on. Anywhere that has lots of keys to manage… this is the solution. 

Euro Security: What are the specific challenges with integrating access control products into other security systems like CCTV?

CB: The key is to make it all as simple as possible for the OEM. We have developed the ASSA ABLOY Device Protocol, with a simple SDK that allows Aperio® to talk to other installed security products. Our standard messaging helps OEMs integrate Aperio into their product ecosystems just like any other component. The customer only sees one system, and gets one holistic system view.

Euro Security: You mention OEMs. What, for you and ASSA ABLOY, is the key to a successful partnership?

CB: Absolutely the most important thing is loyalty. We have no direct market offering with Aperio. We support OEMs and their customers, not try to bypass them. It is a partnership in true terms. We do have a wireless access product aimed at direct sales, SMARTair™. But it is a different channel altogether, for small-scale, standalone projects. With Aperio it is all about interoperability with other OEM systems and larger scale access control projects.

Euro Security: So, can you give us a sneek peek of what is coming later in 2014 from Aperio®?

CB: The year is looking busy! We are updating the current range with a new generation of electronics, incorporating the latest technology developments. We are launching an extension to our mechanical range, to allow more than just doors to run wireless locks—cabinets and server racks, for example. We will be embedding Aperio® into more hardware, and announcing more partnerships with major OEMs. We will also support more RFID technologies, including iCLASS SE from HID.

Euro Security:You don’t mention the cloud there. To what extent will the future of access control be tied into cloud technology?

CB: There is certainly a lot of “noise” about the cloud at the moment, and ASSA ABLOY is taking a long-term view. The cloud really breaks down into two approaches: cloud-based access control, where the access system lies entirely in the cloud, versus cloud-based management of an access control system. I look at it from a user experience point of view. It used to take a couple of seconds for an access control decision at a door. Now, it’s around half a second between presenting the credential and an access decision. If totally cloud-based access control stretches the access decision back to 2 seconds, that takes the user back 20 years. On the other hand, cloud-based management is already here: sitting here, in the UK, I can remotely unlock the door on our office in Spain, from my smartphone. Access control will move into the cloud when the time is right. But it has to be about the user at the door. And not just their experience, but their privacy and security, too.

Euro Security: Finally, and also looking forward: the price of energy never seems to be out of the news. What, if anything, are likely to be the effects of increasing energy prices on the access control market?

CB: I mentioned earlier that I was no fan of keys. Well, I hate magnetic locks. They are seen as a low cost option, but they are really a false economy, because they are ugly when you look at their energy use. Over a year, they consume more than wireless locks by a factor of ten. Then there are the shipping costs—these things are heavy—and the metal content is very high. As energy prices increase, it only adds to the value of a move to wireless locks.




Cut the cables - go wireless with Aperio
Increase your security and add new doors to your access control system 


An access control system is standard equipment for companies and public administrations and provides buildings with a very high standard of security. However, installing access control doors is very expensive due to the extensive wiring required. This is why access control systems often only cover doors with very high security requirements.

All other doors feature mechanical locks and therefore cannot be monitored and managed and if a master key is lost there can be a major security risk, not a satisfactory set of circumstances for security officers, so this is where Aperio® Technology comes in.


Available on the global market place, ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio® Technology enables a wide range of access control providers to cost-effectively integrate non-wired doors with mechanical locks into access control systems. As a result, Security and Facility Managers now have greater control, can easily respond to organisational changes and will only need to monitor a single security system, while users will only require a single RFID access control card.
"ASSA ABLOY`s Aperio
® Technology allows security and facility managers to conveniently and cost effectively increase the number of doors that can be monitored," explains Chris Bone, ASSA ABLOY Vice President Access Control Solutions EMEA.


Access control system manufacturers and system integrators can now expand their product portfolios with the new technology from ASSA ABLOY and thus achieve greater sales volumes with both new and existing customers.

“Incorporating Aperio® products into portfolios does not require much extra effort on the part of OEMs and above all is risk-free since we provide a try-me programme free of charge,” explains Chris Bone, Vice President Access Control EMEA at ASSA ABLOY.
OEMs can implement the ASSA ABLOY Device Protocol (RS485) or a Wiegand interface in their access control system and are then able to test the technology under live conditions.
“Our aim is to use our experience as the global leader in door opening solution to supply OEMs and system integrators with new components for their access control systems and open up a new market segment for them.”
On the one hand, existing customers are able to upgrade their access control systems at a favourable price. On the other, new customers can be offered an integrated system right from the start. Aperio® forms a new category of security solutions which is between non-wired, mechanical doors and wired, electronically secured doors.

Aperio® Technology is available worldwide, meaning OEMs and system integrators can implement transnational and transcontinental solutions.


How does it work?  Upgrade to Aperio™ - forget about keys.


Doors will merely need to be equipped with battery powered Aperio® locking cylinders, escutcheons or locks with RFID readers and linked to the access control system. There is generally no need to replace the existing RFID cards or transponders as these can also be used for wireless Aperio® doors.


The Aperio® locking cylinder sets new standards thanks to its aesthetics and impresses due to its state-of-the-art technology. This low-maintenance electronic locking cylinder is easily fitted, can be operated with a range of different identity media and is available for different door profiles (Euro, Scandinavian, Finnish) and knob versions.


The Aperio® escutcheon excels thanks to its slim, timeless design and can be used in all commercially available doors featuring mechanical locks and profiles. It is available for fire doors and for different door profiles (Euro, Scandinavian, Finnish).

The wireless Aperio® PINpad escutcheon can be used wherever doors are to be secured by multi-level authentication – physically with a card and logically by means of a password.

The device allows access to rooms simply by entering a PIN, via a card reader or with a combination of both. Depending on the integration in the Access Control System, the escutcheon supports the integrated Duress Code function to provide increased security. Depending on the integration level of the device, a silent hold-up alarm can be triggered in the security centre if, in a dangerous situation, the user enters the attack code instead of his own PIN.


The Aperio® security lock L100 offers a unique, easy way to integrate doors with higher security requirements and complies with EN 179 and EN 1125 requirements. It is available for fire doors and for different door profiles (Euro, Scandinavian, Finnish). The optimum burglary protection and resistance against extreme temperatures (down to -65 °C) ensure that the AperioTM lock is also suitable for outside doors with special security requirements. The lock features a protection rating of IP55. Users can instantly obtain "open/closed" and "locked: yes/no" status information from the lock at a glance.


Aperio® Online - authorisation in real-time:

Using AperioTM Technology, the hub contacts the access control software application via an encrypted radio link in a matter of seconds to verify whether a locking medium is authorised for access or not. The radio link to the EAC system operates on the IEEE 802.15.4 frequency band (2.4 GHz) and is encrypted using AES (128 bit). The communications hub can operate up to eight doors within a transmission range of about 15 to 25 metres. Suitable for interior doors, this hub is particularly practical for hallways with a number of adjacent rooms.


Aperio® Offline - authorisation by data on credential:

Aperio® Offline is particularly suitable for doors which cannot be wired, are used very little or are a distance away from other doors. Very easy to install, an Aperio® Offline cylinder or escutcheon is mounted onto the door and then integrated into the access control system. Access authorisations are saved onto existing RFID user cards or transponders. Doors are all managed using the same access control system, whether they feature Aperio® Offline or Online. Users receive new or modified access authorisations from a central point.

Aperio® Offline cylinders or escutcheons can also be easily used for Aperio® Online if operators wish to integrate a door into an online system at a later date. In such a case, the door is incorporated into the access control system via a wireless communications hub, thus providing a favourably priced, non-wired, online solution.


For professional end-users, the greatest advantage lies in the fact that they can now choose the right access control system for every door scenario. Regardless of whether the door is Aperio® Online or Offline, both can be administered using the same access control system.



Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 07:58

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