High-tech access control: enter the era of smart building automation
30 January 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202017712
THERE are various reasons business leaders choose to establish so-called ‘smart’ buildings or those that reflect the intelligent combination of technology and automation to facilitate intuitive interaction – but many would consider smart access control and security to be the main reason.
That’s according to Paul Chari, Principal Consultant, EDC Solutions at access control and security specialist Dormakaba South Africa. He said business managers recognise the benefits of smart building automation, namely better security, directed environmental control, real time data about the building, centralised or distributed control of various elements, interaction of various elements as well as external service providers.
He added that the advent of technologies like cloud computing and storage, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning had laid the foundation for the rise of intelligent buildings.
“Systems connect, data is transferred and all processes and procedures that define building management and maintenance are automated.
“So, existing light sockets and outlet points can be converted to record or give data. Using existing cabling where possible, data exchange can be facilitated using powerline ethernet otherwise, Wi-Fi has been added to many buildings and homes after the fact,” Chari said.
“With the fixtures that are overhead, tracking where people are in a building is possible using IR sensors making activation and deactivation of lights and air-conditioning possible as well as to manage centrally; this facilitated by communication lines enabling relevant information to be sent to a decision logic centre.”
For some years there has been ongoing discussion around IoT connectivity and the role this technology will play in creating smart homes.
In much the same way a home can be connected, leveraging IoT, commercial buildings can be ‘engineered’ to be able to smarten devices.
“IoT allows devices added to the home to become part of the smart ecosystem as devices can interact with the rest of the house or in the case of a smart fridge, your local grocer to get your milk topped up. Perhaps more importantly, a device that can communicate its remaining service life can allow planning for future maintenance more effectively.”
Chari said Dormakaba believed smart building automation would drive growth within the access control and security market. “It is a market that will continue to evolve, fuelled by innovation and advanced connectivity solutions.”