PegaSys - Intelligent Access Control Systems For Superior Security Solutions
PegaSys - Intelligent Access Control Systems For Superior Security Solutions

PegaSys access control systems, from Ingersoll Rand, provide competitively priced, quality security solutions that promise to make your environment safer, more secure and more productive - protecting people and property as well as assets. With a wide range of electronic and mechanical entry components to choose from, PegaSys provides a selection of security options to suit every requirement along with the flexibility to fulfill your current needs whilst adapting to any future needs. So, whether it’s the security of a hospital or care home, airport or industrial building, small business or large university that you’re looking to safeguard; PegaSys has the perfect system to suit you. Offline stand alone: The ideal solution for small businesses, offices, surgeries and residential buildings with a maximum of 50 people, this is both economical and simple whilst providing quality protection of individual doors. Battery-powered offline components means minimal installation costs. Credentials (cards or tags) can be deleted from the system through changes to access rights. Offline NetworkOnCard Designed for a larger number of doors and multiple users with different time profiles, this system allows for quick and easy changes to user permissions and as the cards are used to transfer the data there is no need for extensive programming of the offline components. Online / offline validation A sophisticated security solution, this system is designed for multiple doors and users in large, often dispersed, building complexes where changes to access rights occur regularly. System features and benefits include centralised maintenance and programming alongside automatic expiration of credential validity. Near Field Communication (NFC): To simplify things even further for the system administrator we’ve expanded our products around an NFC interface -resulting in a quicker reaction time to changes and automatic synchronisation between offline devices and the software,  to name but a few benefits. PegaSys door terminals and electronic cylinders: Thanks to the wide choice of hardware configurations the PegaSys system can be very easily selected to suit your specific requirements. This allows us to find the most cost-effective, visually attractive and simple solution for your installation. Meanwhile, our electronic cylinders can be installed in place of an existing mechanical cylinder to allow for the simple and swift conversion to an electronic system. Replacing an existing mechanical cylinder with an electronic cylinder is hassle-free too and takes just three to five minutes.

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How AI Is Revolutionizing Fraud Detection
How AI Is Revolutionizing Fraud Detection

The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates that fraud costs the United Kingdom approximately £190 billion every year. The private sector is hit the hardest and loses around £140 billion a year, while the public sector loses more than £40 billion, and individuals lose roughly £7 billion. The effects of fraud can be devastating on both individuals and organizations. Companies can suffer irreversible damage to reputation and be forced to close, and individuals can experience significant personal losses. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves against fraudulent activity. Fraud detection technology Fraud detection technology has advanced rapidly, over the years and made it easier for security professionals to detect and prevent fraud. Here are some of the key ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising fraud detection - with insight from Tessema Tesfachew, the Head of Product at Avora. An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected. According to Tessema Tesfachew, “Autonomous monitoring and anomaly detection specifically, have made detecting fraudulent activity faster and more accurate. Machines can monitor data 24/7 as it comes in, build patterns of behavior that take into account seasonality and shifting trends, and identify events that don’t fit the norm.” For example, banks can use AI software to gain an overview of a customer’s spending habits online. Having this level of insight allows an anomaly detection system to determine whether a transaction is normal or not. Suspicious transactions can be flagged for further investigation and verified by the customer. If the transaction is not fraudulent, then the information can be put into the anomaly detection system to learn more about the customer’s spending behavior online. Accurate root cause analysis Root cause analysis goes one step further than anomaly detection, by allowing security professionals to pinpoint what caused the anomaly. Tessema explains how an example of this would be if a system detects that the rate of fraudulent transactions has increased. Root cause analysis would pinpoint the specific ATM or point of sale, where this increase is occurring. Swift action can then be taken to prevent fraudulent activity at that location in the future. Fewer false positives As mentioned, false positives can occur if a fraud detection system identifies behavior that goes against the norm, for instance, if a customer makes a transaction in a new location. In many cases, customers are required to complete identity verification to prove that a transaction is not fraudulent. Digital customer identity verification can help brands build a strong and reputable image. That said, forcing users to complete identify certifications regularly can cause frustration and harm the customer experience. AI anomaly detection AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data AI anomaly detection is far more accurate and results in fewer false positives. Increasing the accuracy of anomaly detection helps companies improve customer relationships and build a strong reputation. This will have a positive impact on brand image and sales revenue. AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data. Machines are more efficient than even the most skilled fraud analysts and make fewer errors. This is why AI fraud detection software is the preferred option in larger organizations. Importance of fraud analysts However, fraud analysts still play an important role in fraud prevention. Using a combination of human intervention and AI is usually the most effective approach when it comes to fraud detection. According to pymnts.com, innovative organizations now use a variety of AI and supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify and protect against fraud. AI systems can complete time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis. This means that fraud analysts can focus their time and attention on critical tasks that require human intervention, e.g. monitoring risk scores. AI can automate processes and enhance the quality of the fraud analysts’ work. Conclusion In to Tessema Tesfachew’s opinion, “Fraud detection has become vastly more efficient and effective with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previously, methods for detecting fraudulent activities were still data-rich, but relied more on human intervention and expert bias, and were thus, more time consuming and prone to error.” AI technology, particular anomaly detection, has streamlined fraud detection and created a more efficient, and accurate system for detecting and preventing fraud. Covid-19 has increased the number of online transactions, which creates more opportunities for fraudulent activity. However, it also allows businesses to gain more information on their customers and enhance the capabilities of AI security software. It is more important than ever for organizations to utilize AI technology in fraud detection strategies.

Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021
Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021

Q: Mr. Seiter, Mr. Ekerot, you both joined Bosch Building Technologies’ business unit Video Systems & Solutions as Senior Vice Presidents in March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning. How did your business unit get through 2020? Magnus Ekerot: The crisis was also felt at Bosch. At the same time, demand has risen for solutions that keep businesses open and protect people's health. We offer corresponding video solutions that can make a significant contribution to containing the pandemic.  Michael Seiter: Overall, we managed the past year well despite the challenges and have been growing again since the third quarter compared to 2019. We see good opportunities for further growth in 2021. Q: Has the Corona crisis again accelerated the development of smart technologies in the security technology market, and does the security market in contrast to most industries benefit from the crisis more than it suffers? Michael Seiter: The Corona crisis has definitely demonstrated that the future lies in data-driven solutions. Thanks to our product development strategy already being based on this, we at Bosch were very quickly able to develop new products for the ‘New Normal’ and to expand existing products accordingly. To give one or two examples: in cooperation with Philips, we very quickly developed a people counting solution for retail operations – smart Philips displays in conjunction with smart cameras from Bosch that provide protection for staff and customers. The In-Store Analytics software solution was also implemented with additional features. Shop owners can now make decisions based on customer movement data such as “Where do we position products to avoid queues or crowds?” HTD involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature  The latest highlight is the Bosch Human Skin Temperature Detection solution, in short HTD. This involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature at control points in offices, factory floors, or airports. The benefits of previously existing solutions on the market are sometimes called into question. Competitors are often unable to deliver what they promise because, for example, the measured temperature of the skin does not correspond to the core temperature of the person, or fluctuates, due to environmental influences. Therefore, we developed a software-based solution that, in compliance with GDPR, first allows people with potentially elevated body temperatures to be filtered out, and in a second step, allows medical personnel to perform a more targeted fever measurement. Q: You see a lot of potential for the video security industry in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. What specific opportunities do you mean, and how are you leveraging these technologies at Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: Bosch has committed itself fully to an “AIoT” – AI meets IoT – strategy. The development of AI algorithms and software, in general, is at Bosch significantly driven in the security space.  By AIoT, we specifically mean the networking of physical products and the deployment of artificial intelligence. With AI we aim to enable clients to understand events at an ever-deeper level and predict them in the future – the keyword being predictive – so that they can act proactively. This is particularly important for health and safety. An example is the Intelligent Insights solution where the user can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area. Q: From your point of view do you have an advantage over other suppliers when it comes to AI-based products in the video arena? Michael Seiter: The analysis and utilization of video data have long been front and center with us. Since 2016 we’ve been following the strategy of offering AI applications in the form of integrated intelligent video analytics as a standard in our network cameras. Data such as color, object size, object speed, and direction are all measured. Simply put, you can say this is seeing and understanding – which is the principle behind smart security cameras. Today it’s much more a question of intelligent, data-based solutions than collecting high-quality pictures and storing them for the record. Bosch has been investing heavily in AI for years, from which we can benefit greatly in our area. In the first quarter, for example, we will launch a vehicle detector based on deep learning that is already running on our cameras. This will create significant added value for our customers in the area of intelligent traffic control. Q: Mr. Ekerot, what advantages do customers have in AI-based video security from Bosch? Magnus Ekerot: A key advantage is strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms A key advantage is our strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms. Take the example of Camera Trainer, a machine learning software that can be directly uploaded to Bosch network cameras. The camera is thus trained up on recognizing objects and situations – tailored to the specific needs of our customers. If the camera detects the defined scenario, it performs a predefined action in real-time – for example, a count or an alarm. The latest example is our new camera platform Inteox. As a completely open camera platform, Inteox combines Bosch's intelligent video analytics with an open operating system. This allows programmers to develop specific software applications - or apps - for various application purposes. These can then be loaded onto cameras – the same principle as an app store for smartphones. To sum up, Bosch AI applications support customer-specific needs related to data analysis while enabling totally new applications within and beyond the video security market. Q: Can you name a specific current project where Bosch has deployed an AI-based solution? Magnus Ekerot: A current ground-breaking project using our smart cameras is being implemented as a pilot in the USA. Smart Ohio enables users to configure more intelligent traffic flows and thus ensure mobility, safety, and the efficient use of roads today and tomorrow. The new vehicle detector mentioned by Mr. Seiter also plays a central role here. Our overall goal is to provide connected smart sensor solutions for public and private transportation agencies to enable them to operate their roads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Insights can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area Q: Mr. Seiter, you have been involved with the topic of mobility for some time. What experience from your previous job in the automotive business of Bosch might help you when it comes to further develop the video portfolio of Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: There's a lot to tell. First of all, the development of core algorithms for video-based solutions, whether for autonomous driving, for vehicle interior monitoring, or for our Bosch Building Technologies video systems, all come together at Bosch's Hildesheim location. This gives us considerable synergies and allows us to bring R&D results to market faster and more flexibly. Essentially, assisted driving systems use AI algorithms that process ever-increasing volumes of video data. Attempts are being made to imitate the human being and enable the vehicle to understand better the surrounding environment with its ‘eyes’. This predictive capability is especially critical with autonomous driving. For example, key questions include: “How should the car respond and what could potentially happen next?” “What kind of environment does it find itself in?” etc. There are many activities in this area at Bosch that in my new role in security we can also strongly benefit from. I am now bringing a lot of this experience and existing R&D achievements to Bosch Video Systems & Solutions, which also results in further synergies with our mobility division: At Stuttgart Airport, autonomous driving is already being implemented together with Mercedes-Benz and the parking garage operator Apcoa as part of the "Automated Valet Parking" project, or AVP for short, in which intelligent video systems from Bosch Building Technologies are making a significant contribution. Mr. Ekerot, you have a lot of experience in the video security area. Where do you position Bosch Building Technologies now in this market and what specific goals are you pursuing? Magnus Ekerot: Our clients are looking for reliable partners and products. We are a strong brand; you can rely on Bosch products. Bosch is a thought leader in video and a pioneer in AI applications in this field since 2016. Data security is everything to us: Our products conform to the EU’s GDPR regulations. Beyond that, we have an extensive camera portfolio that complies with the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for video security devices. This enables our portfolio to be deployed for example within US government buildings. We are planning to conclude more software maintenance agreements with our clients in 2021. These deliver investment and future security for our customers and include for example a ‘patch guarantee’ along with regular updates with new functionalities. This is the first step in a comprehensive plan to access new revenue channels for us and our partners delivering the best technology and excellent service to the end-user! Overall, many new products will be launched this year and this trend will intensify. Our goal is to establish new product families that follow a simple principle: “The development and delivery of disruptive, predictive video solutions that every user can trust because of the underlying sustainable forward-thinking mindset.” It’s been much discussed of late that Bosch is one of the very first companies globally that operates on a CO2-neutral basis. How does sustainability impact your business? Magnus Ekerot: IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection Our IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection. For example, our cameras are sustainable in that they remain up-to-date through software updates and needn’t be constantly exchanged for new ones. Our systems demonstrate sustainability also operationally as they can be managed remotely. System integrators don’t need to be physically present, thus avoiding unnecessary travel with its accompanying emissions. All in all, Bosch Building Technologies develops ways to accompany and support our clients in reaching their climate goals via new technologies. This can be done, for example, through improved energy efficiency, the total cost of ownership models, organizing and simplifying the supply chain, and helping our customers meet their social responsibilities. The Power of Bosch helps us here to leverage company-wide research to be two steps ahead, a shade faster, when it comes to new technologies and initiatives that our and future generations will benefit from. I should also say that I am personally very proud to work for a company that set an ambitious climate goal for itself and achieved it! Can you already share a preview of your technology innovations in 2021? Michael Seiter: We see great market potential for our cameras that use artificial intelligence and can be updated flexibly throughout their lifecycles. I have already mentioned the deep learning-based vehicle detector in our cameras. More such solutions – also for other applications where object and person recognition are important – will follow in the course of the year. And the best part is: with AI, the more data we collect and the more intelligently we use it, the better the solutions become and the more added value they bring to the customer. This will revolutionize our industry! Another example is our cloud-based solutions, for example for alarm monitoring. Here, we can now also integrate third-party cameras and, building on this, offer and jointly develop our intelligent software-based solutions. This gives our customers more opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities created by AI. The trend towards integration of the various security technologies seems to be driven mostly by the rapid progress in software development. Does this affect full-range suppliers such as Bosch and what specific plans for fully integrated security solutions do you have for the future? Michael Seiter: Naturally, this suits us as a full-scope supplier. Bosch solutions are deployed in many cross-domain client projects. We have experts for the different domains under one roof and a strong brand with the same quality promise for all areas. Nevertheless, it is always also about specific domain excellence. Only when you master all different areas and have profound and proven expertise in each of them you can succeed in integrated cross-domain projects. The respective business units craft their future strategies and innovation roadmaps with this in mind – as we do in the field of Video Systems & Solutions. Our business unit offers fully integrated Bosch video solutions that can be extended and operated on open systems. This is why we drive open platforms such as Inteox, to offer customers from a wide range of industries the right solutions. Our Bosch Integration Partner Program that we launched in 2012 is also heading in this direction – every product can be integrated into multiple other systems and VMS solutions. In summary: At Bosch, we are both a one-stop-shop, but also an open-system, meaning we offer customers maximum flexibility in their choice of products and services.

We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection
We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data center world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

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PSIA Announces Secure Credential Interoperability Initiative And SCI Work Group For Its Development
PSIA Announces Secure Credential Interoperability Initiative And SCI Work Group For Its Development

The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has announced its Secure Credential Interoperability (SCI) initiative and a working group to advance its development.  “The physical access control industry has demonstrated a need for a universally compatible secure credential and we believe that we have found a simple, yet elegant solution to address this with SCI,” said Mohammad Soleimani, CTO of Kastle Systems and Chairman of the SCI Work Group.  SCI Work Group Mohammad Soleimani adds, “The specification will leverage the security, flexibility, and convenience of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and negate the need for investment in the infrastructure.” PSIA member companies involved in the SCI work group include, Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, dormakaba, Farpointe Data, IDEMIA, Kastle Systems, LenelS2, Tyco and WaveLynx Technologies.  “We are fortunate to already have a strong group of leaders in the access control and building management systems industries involved in the SCI Work Group,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director of the PSIA, adding  “They have been able to come up with an effective solution to an issue which will have broad application in the market.”  SCI specification with NFC and Bluetooth support The group has already prepared a draft specification for apps, readers, and locks featuring BLE compatibility The SCI specification supports NFC, ISO14443, and Bluetooth (BLE), and therefore, can accommodate all device types including cards, mobile devices, and wearables. The group has already prepared a draft specification for apps, readers, and locks featuring BLE compatibility.  “Mobile credentials are rapidly gaining in popularity with many commercial and institutional customers, but the diversity of offerings can often present interoperability and management issues,” noted Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer for ASSA ABLOY Americas.  Enterprise credential management Peter Boriskin adds, “The SCI proposal aims to increase interoperability and reduce the barriers to portability, supporting enterprise credential management across multiple device manufacturers.” The SCI Work Group recognized that the proximity credentials, currently in widespread use, are not secure and organizations are actively migrating to secure credentials.  Solving interoperability issues of smart cards “Smart cards, one of the most commonly used access control mediums, are secure, but pose extremely challenging interoperability issues,” noted Hugo Wendling, the CEO of WaveLynx Technologies, adding “The PSIA’s SCI Initiative is a perfect complement to address this need.” The SCI leverages off existing standards and commercially available technology. For example, most smartphones enable the public/private key to be created by the device. This is compatible with nearly all smartphones, which have been produced over the last five years, including Android and iOS devices, which represent a significant installed base. The SCI Work Group is finalizing its technical draft of the specification and any companies interested in being part of this process are invited to join the PSIA.  

Allegion Partners With CBORD To Support Contactless Mobile IDs On Android Devices For University Campuses
Allegion Partners With CBORD To Support Contactless Mobile IDs On Android Devices For University Campuses

Allegion, the globally renowned provider of security products and solutions, including Schlage readers and locks, together with CBORD, a renowned higher education technology solutions provider, announced that they have expanded their offerings and now provide on-campus mobile credential solutions on Android phones. Students, faculty and staff on participating campuses can now use their Android phones to conveniently, safely and securely access campus buildings and make purchases through Google Pay, while the universities benefit from operational efficiencies. Contactless mobile IDs for campuses Allegion and CBORD first launched contactless mobile IDs for campuses in August 2019, for Apple devices. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Vermont and University of San Francisco were among the first schools to leverage the solution. The solution was well received and will be extended to Android phones on more campuses throughout this year, so as to reach an even larger population.          “COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of and demand for contactless solutions, across the campus population. With many campuses looking to reopen for in-person classes this fall, having a contact-free solution became paramount to ensure a safe reopening,” said Jeff Koziol, Business Development Manager of Campus Software Partners at Allegion. Enhancing campus safety Schlage readers and locks also support the Transact NFC Android and the Apple iOS NFC mobile credentials Jeff Koziol adds, “Campus security directors can now offer students and faculty assurance that they can come back to campus safely, with contactless access in place to reduce touch points and trace outbreaks, while adding convenience.” Once the CBORD credential is provisioned, users simply present their device to NFC-enabled readers to pay for food, vending or laundry, or access exterior and interior doors at campus buildings and residence halls. Schlage readers and locks also support the Transact NFC Android and the Apple iOS NFC mobile credentials. Leveraging MIFARE 2GO cloud service CBORD and Transact’s mobile credentials for Google Pay leverage NXP Semiconductor’s secure MIFARE 2GO cloud service, which enables use of the credentials on all compatible Android NFC-enabled phones. “Campus credentials in the mobile wallet continue to reinvent and enhance the student experience,” said Larry Delaney, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at CBORD, adding “The ability to issue student IDs and access privileges prior to students returning to campus is yet another example of modern convenience and improved efficiency that mobile credentials provide.” Additional benefits for further convenience and interoperability include: They are wallet-based. The credentials make the transition seamless, as the campus population already tends to utilize digital wallets. The credentials allow for self-service, which helps the campus population avoid lines to traditional university card offices, which is critical as traffic is an area of concern during this COVID-19 pandemic They are protected by two-factor authentication. The solution allows students to request two-factor authentication by leveraging the pin pad or biometrics already present on their phone. The credentials can be remotely deactivated by the student or university, for added security. This extended offering is the next wave in Allegion’s pursuit to work with other globally renowned solution providers in the industry for digital credential rollout in universities.

Allegion Ventures Expands Strategic Portfolio With Investment In Tech Startup, Mint House
Allegion Ventures Expands Strategic Portfolio With Investment In Tech Startup, Mint House

Allegion Ventures, a US$ 50 million corporate venture fund of Allegion plc, has expanded its strategic portfolio with an investment in Mint House, a startup that’s revolutionizing the hotel experience for modern business travelers through technology-aided amenities, such as secure mobile check-in and keyless entry, digital concierge services, customized pre-stocked grocery delivery and more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the release. Strategic investment portfolio In late 2020, Allegion Ventures also announced an investment in Kasa Living, a company using technology-powered innovation to provide flexible stay accommodations across the U.S. The fund’s President, Rob Martens, stated that these two startups are driving new value for customers in a post-COVID-19 world. The Allegion Ventures investment thesis, to make security and access smarter, stronger, faster and less intrusive" “The Allegion Ventures investment thesis, to make security and access smarter, stronger, faster and less intrusive, is aligned with the experiences both Mint House and Kasa create for their business and leisure travellers,” said Rob Martens, who also serves as Chief Innovation and Design Officer at Allegion. Need for seamless access Rob adds, “As the need for what we call ‘seamless access’ has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are opportunities across not just the hospitality market, but also commercial and institutional real estate, to innovate and delight customers, while also helping them safeguard their health through smart technologies.” With their own access control and technology expertise, the Allegion Ventures team can help both Mint House and Kasa deliver on their unique value propositions of improving guest experiences through secure touchless technology and contactless check-in and scaling operations, among other things. Secure touchless and contactless access “It’s always been our mission to fundamentally improve the lives of road warriors who are tired of the legacy, box-like hotel, whether they were staying for two nights, two weeks or two months,” said William Lucas, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Mint House. Honored to have Allegion Ventures on our side as we continue to expand and innovate in short-term rental space" William adds, “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mint House’s model has proven to be ahead of its time as our tech-driven concept offers a safe, reliable option that corporate travel managers feel confident in booking for their employees. We are honored to have Allegion Ventures on our side as we continue to grow, expand and innovate in the short-term rental space.” While a strategic focus on seamless access and people flow is not new to Allegion Ventures, the COVID-19 pandemic has re-enforced the value in this sector. Several other Allegion Ventures portfolio companies have also created innovative solutions for customers in the wake of this global health crisis. Smart workplace analytics platform Allegion Ventures portfolio company, VergeSense, for instance, is providing its customers with smart, data-driven perspectives on space utilization, through its workplace analytics platform. This technology collects data on the movement of people throughout a space and notifies users, when capacity is exceeded or when a space isn’t being utilized effectively. With social distancing efforts still the recognized best practice for stopping the spread of COVID-19 virus, safe occupancy and efficient use of space is the key to an effective return-to-workplace strategy for companies across industries. VergeSense technology suite The VergeSense technology suite also monitors when a space needs to be cleaned What’s more, the VergeSense technology suite also monitors when a space needs to be cleaned, by capturing how many people have used it. This allows decision makers to clean a space that actually needs to be cleaned, instead of spending money, time and resources on one that is unused. Similarly, Robin Powered, Inc. (Robin) has innovated for the new workplace normal, providing technology to return to the office safely and plan hybrid work schedules. The Robin platform allows employers and facility managers to assign who has access to specific desks, spaces or rooms, and when. It also empowers employees to safely coordinate trips to the office, so as to collaborate with their colleagues.  Mobile-first, cloud-based access control  In addition, renowned technology solutions company, Openpath released a hands-free ‘Wave to Unlock’ feature for its mobile-first, cloud-based access control solution, helping reduce common touch points at building entrances. It also provides a data platform with remote management capabilities for those facilities managers or decision makers who may still be working from home. This frictionless experience prioritizes health and safety for all. “For businesses and communities to open up and regain a sense of normalcy, travelers as well as property owners, tenants, employees, visitors and others need flexible and adaptable solutions,” said Rob Martens, Chief Innovation and Design Officer at Allegion. Rob concludes by stating, “Seamless and convenient experiences through touchless technologies matter now more than ever. At Allegion Ventures, we’re excited to be investing in and partnering with innovators who are making a difference and adding value in the new normal.”

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