By Sanjay Roy
The key to unlocking a door may reside in your pocket, and guess what: it’s not actually a key. Consider this: the days of using plastic ID covers, neck lanyards, and retractable badge holders to maintain a physical access card may soon be in the past. The replacement: smartphones and mobile applications, thanks to today’s smart building technologies.
You may forget your access card at home, but when was the last time you left your phone at home? Today’s smart building technologies combine the connectivity of building systems with the convenience of mobile applications — and smartphones, devices we all use and rely on throughout the day — to create a better experience for the user, including how he or she moves throughout a facility.
This type of connectivity is enabling digital ID badging that is changing how organizations can manage building access and IDs, and transforming occupants’ experiences and comfort within facilities.
These types of mobile applications can integrate with core building functions including access control to simplify the entire identification and access process. Moving to this type of digital ID badging can provide many benefits for facility management, and the building occupants and organizations they serve, including:
Easier and More Secure Identification Management. Managing digital identification and credentials through a specified mobile app can enable organizations to eliminate the need for plastic badges or temporary tags. This helps save time and money typically needed for replacing lost or damaged badges or access cards — and adds a higher level of security, since digital credentials add levels of encrypted security. A digital approach can also help solve issues related outdated photo IDs by providing an up-to-date photograph of the occupant. As an added bonus, it’s a greener option, since organizations no longer need to print badges.
More Convenient Building Access. Tying together digital identification with mobile-based access control allows occupants to use their smartphones to move about a workplace instead of relying on an access card or fob, enabling occupants to carry one less item. In addition, these types of solutions also allow occupants to open doors from greater distances than traditional access cards and fobs, adding to the convenience.
Greater Control over Personal Comfort. The ability for these solutions to connect with other building systems can provide building occupants with more control over their experiences in the workplace. For instance, using a smart building’s connectivity to connect these mobile apps to appropriate building systems can allow occupants to notify building personnel if their work areas are too hot or too cold and receive confirmation that their issues are being addressed.
Connectivity enabled by smart building technologies can change an organization’s entire approach to access control and identification. With the right building blocks in place, facility management can quickly and easily take advantage of these benefits to enable their occupants to take more control over their day-to-day experiences.
Roy is global product manager for Honeywell Building Solutions.