The other day I picked up my brand new car after a hard day of work.
I was of course thrilled to try out all the new features the car offered. One of the first things I did was connect my phone via Bluetooth to the car.
I called my wife to let her know my ETA and drove down the road to give my new car its first taste of the real world.
You can hardly call hands-free calling a new feature, but it nonetheless struck me how flawless this works; both the car and phone are from different manufacturers, but they managed to connect right away.
This made me ponder; why…Why, is this not the case in access control?
If you buy a new access control system, you will receive new controllers.
Now if you see the controller as the car, you would expect that it can right away connect with items like wireless locks, or card readers (which would be ‘the phone’).
The reality however shows that this often is not the case.
Access control manufacturers require you to use ‘their’ card readers or wireless locks, hence you have to replace the old ones.
It is as if you’d buy a new car, and the car manufacturer forces you to buy a new phone.
Or even worse; you want to buy the new iPhone, but this only works if you buy a new car.
I don’t think many cars or iPhones would be sold in that case. You’d simply go to another supplier.
Then why do we accept this in access control?
I think the answer lies amongst others in the power of customer demand.
Not all customers know that you don’t have to accept an access control manufacturer forcing you to buy everything from their brand.
What access control systems can learn from cars and phones
Just as Bluetooth is an open communication standard that allows the car and phone to connect, similar initiatives are available in the world of access control.
If you buy an access control system that supports open communication standards like OSDP (for card readers) and OSS SO (for wireless locks), you’re sure that you will be able to connect devices from multiple manufacturers.
This includes new devices that may be introduced in the future, with new features you may like.
The only thing we have to do, is to stop accepting manufacturers from doing otherwise.