If you’re reading this, then there’s a strong chance your web browser, also known as a client, interacted with the WordPress API in order to reach our website (which is hosted by WordPress). If you find that you want to learn more about our company and our mobile key platform, you may head over to our “Let’s Connect” page where we have a form. This form, hosted by a third-party, is able to be filled out on our webpage without you having to go to the third-party’s website. This is all possible through the work of an API or an Application Programming Interface.

According to Brian Lillie, CIO of global data center provider, Equinix, APIs are “the mechanism by which organizations can rise to the occasion of our new ‘always-on,’ extremely mobile culture.” In other words, APIs are what can potentially make the world, and your business, go around. They allow you to solve problems and pain points faster than ever before. The secret isn’t in a single API alone—though they often have benefits in and of themselves. The real magic happens when complementary APIs are integrated for greater positive impact.

The Power of APIs

UniKey provides customers with a mobile key platform to enhance products or bring new products to life. Whether you’re in the commercial, residential, or automotive industry UniKey has an API that can work with any solution; making it easier for you and your team to leverage our proven technology and mobile IP to bring seamless access control solutions to your customers.

The challenge, however, lies in getting them to work together. Not all APIs use the same standards, and the developers who make them may not follow the same security policies. UniKey mitigates the difficulty by following security and privacy best practices. And, UniKey removes the guesswork and complexity when it comes to integrating APIs, enabling an abundance of powerful integrations with your IoT device, platform, or application.

Through UniKey’s APIs, integrations are available for the following:

1. Cloud-to-cloud integrations streamline communication and ensure data is shared among relevant systems—on-premise and off—and parties. An example is an integration of Kwikset’s Kevo with Airbnb. The joining would not only facilitate data sharing and analysis but also provide a superior customer experience.

2. Mobile and Web App integrations already work with IFTTT, a free web-based service that allows your customers to create “recipes.” For instance, in a UniKey and Phillips Hue integration, end users can leverage the recipe that dictates, “If [user] approaches the smart lock between [hours], the lights will automatically turn on before [user] enters the building.

3. IoT Device integrations. The UniKey platform can be integrated with connected devices like SkyBell, Honeywell, and Nest. The aim is to create a holistic UX that benefits the building environment from end to end.

4. Copyrighted source code. While the APIs are for commercial use, the underlying source code is copyrighted. This facilitates the ability to produce one-of-a-kind access control solutions in a variety of verticals and industry sectors.

With UniKey’s open APIs you have the potential to join a thriving ecosystem of connected devices and give users a unique experience by combining your product with other smart solutions and integrations. To learn more about our platform’s APIs visit www.unikey.com

Not all roles at UniKey are engineering based. Emily Councilor, our accounts manager, kills it day in and day out with her exceptional ability to juggle UniKey’s accounts; acting as our customers’ voice and advocate inside the organization and working with various teams at UniKey to track, plan, and monitor the progress and delivery of projects. In this, Emily plays an integral role at UniKey, ensuring we exceed all customer expectations. This week we sat down with Emily for a well-earned employee spotlight.

UniKey: What is the best part of your job?

Emily: The best part of my job would have to be all the people that push me to learn new things and challenge me to keep learning. There’s a lot of great support here at UniKey, to the point where everyone has facilitated in creating an environment where I feel comfortable asking questions that may come off as completely “out of left field” for some.

UniKey: What is the toughest part of your job?

Emily: I would have to say the toughest part of my job is having to adapt and figure out how account management works externally. Every account is different, and takes time to understand how to specifically communicate goals and timelines with every unique customer/partner that we have. As an introvert, it can get very overwhelming but I had to adapt to be in the business world, and though it’s not a world I expected to be in at UniKey, I’m certainly glad to be here.

UniKey: What separates UniKey from other employers?

Emily: UniKey really does have something that I’ve never seen in my professional experience, and that’s true grit. Grit to hit a deadline, grit to remain passionate about technology and access control, grit to seek constant growth, and grit to collaborate openly and honestly without fear of failing. Coming from someone who fails extremely often, it’s rare and really refreshing.

To learn more about working at UniKey and our open positions, check out our careers page.

 

 

Emily Councilor, Accounts Manager

The workforce is changing; to say the least. Twenty-five years ago, the concept of work from home would have been outlandish and the idea of someone solely relying on contractor positions would be met with much skepticism and outcries of “workforce heresy”. Tack on the fact that the smartphone, a major catalyst for such rapid change and development in the workforce, wasn’t even a twinkle in IBM’s eye (yes, IBM technically made the first smartphone) and you have a world and labor force that’s entirely different from what we currently have today.

Today, the on-demand workforce- comprised of freelancers, contractors, and gig workers- makes up 20% of today’s employees. The rise of remote work has also taken the professional world by storm as it’s grown in popularity by 140% since 2005; leading to a 200% increase in coworking spaces across the world in just five years. With all the changes in our workforce, many companies and services have come to provide smart and convenient solutions to the modern business world. However, the modern workforce is still waiting on a physical security solution that can provide the same level of convenient and intuitive experiences to their work week, while also offering security and peace of mind. Enter: mobile access control.

For the On-demand Workforce

In a recent survey conducted by Endera, the security company found that “87% of security executives reported that contractors/freelancers are most likely to be the cause of workforce-related security incidents at their company”. The solution here needs to go beyond performing routine background checks on new employees and consistent evaluations of workforce risks. It needs to be attacked at the door; the first place these third-party employees will have an interaction with their new employer. With mobile access control, contractors, freelancers, and gig workers can be offered authorized credentials to a company’s office just as fast as they can lose that authorized access. The renowned mobile key that has become synonymous with mobile access control solutions can offer a building’s security manager more control over these employees’ access to businesses while also providing them with real-time updates of the use of these keys. Thus, supplying the business and building with greater security and convenience for all.

For the Remote Workforce

Today’s modern workforce also has the largest amount of employees working remotely, with 20-25% of self-starting professionals performing their jobs at a home office. However, this doesn’t mean these employers never work out of an office. Sometimes a collection of remote workers need to come together in person in order to collaborate on major projects, which is where we have a significant rise in demand for coworking spaces like WeWork and VentureX. Mobile access control can offer building managers of coworking spaces more jurisdiction over who is able to access the building and when through temporary and fixed schedule digital keys as well as mobile and web applications that can be accessed at any remote location.

Securing Today’s Workforce

Our modern workforce is currently experiencing quite a bit of disruption, as the way we work, where we work, and how we work evolves to meet the needs of today’s professionals. To learn more about how your company can help provide secure and convenient physical access control solutions to the modern workforce, visit www.unikey.com

Roughly ten years ago Coca-Cola, GE, IBM, Nokia, and HP were some of the top brands that seemed impervious to change, the unpredictable fluctuations of our economy, or any incumbent, rival company out there. However, with the advent of sophisticated technologies like cloud computing, machine learning, smartphones, and the internet of things the power quickly shifted away from the above super brands as smaller, more digitally strategic companies began to establish themselves. Today, companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), and Apple hold the top positions as the most valuable companies in the world. Most notably, Amazon was a company that managed to skyrocket from the 15th most valuable company to being dubbed king of the enterprises in under five years. How does this happen? And how is it that 52% of Fortune 500 companies “have either gone bankrupt, been acquired, or ceased to exist” since the year 2000? The answer is simple: some companies just missed the metaphorical digital transformation boat.

The Times, They are A Changing

Today, it goes without saying that many companies are concerned about keeping up with the digital wave inundating every industry in practically every corner of the world. However, the ever more urgent need to have a digital business plan isn’t something that has to take on a negative, “why now?!” kind of connotation. It’s something that can be a godsend as it can add new ways to understand consumers, which in turn can yield products they really want and find useful. As such, more businesses are beginning to catch on to the important role smartphones have taken for consumers and have started to create services, products, and applications that offer them the convenience of doing everything from their phones.

Keeping Up with the New Mobile Consumer

In 2018 alone, smartphone users downloaded over 205.4 billion apps. While we wait to see what’s in store for 2019, more companies are developing more mobile applications that will be downloaded by more consumers. Many industries are aware of the rising impact smartphones have on the way we communicate, spend money, book doctor appointments, and even do business.

So where is the security industry in all of this? We’ll give you a hint: it’s beginning to tread water, but a buoy is within reach. As consumer demand for smartphone applications rise, security companies are taking notice, but not all of them are taking action. In a recent Mckinsey study, the company:

“surveyed 150 large companies to measure their digital strategy, capabilities, and culture, and found a large gap separating the digital leaders—the top 10% or so—from the rest. Big incumbent firms in particular are struggling to keep up as more agile digital challengers deliver products and services in faster and cheaper ways.”


In short: the costs for not taking action can be catastrophic and could even lead companies to a similar position as the superbrands we mentioned at the beginning of this article. In 2019, it’s now easier than ever to fall behind; no matter how long your brand has been around or on top of its respective market. But innovation can still be achieved by all through strategic collaborations and investments in consumer-inspired technology.

Don’t Get Left Behind

At UniKey, we help our partners meet the wants and needs of today’s consumers in order to provide the world with more fortified and innovative physical access control solutions. However, most of all, we’re here to make sure that the security industry doesn’t fall behind. To learn more about how your company can be a part of the future, visit www.unikey.com

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson said, “It’s our ambition to have a car that can drive fully autonomously on the highway by 2021.” Last year, in an interview with CNBC, Ford Motors CEO, Mark Fields stated that by 2021, Ford’s cars will maintain level 4 autonomy, requiring no steering wheel or gas pedal and that passengers of these cars will “never need to take control of the vehicle in a predefined area.” While this is exciting and marks a milestone on the road to autonomous vehicles, we’re still half a decade or so out before we get to experience the luxury of sitting in the backseat of a self-driving car; leisurely sipping on coffee. In his new post on automotive access control, our CEO, Phil Dumas discusses the opportunities we currently have to create smarter vehicles that can offer us more convenient and intuitive solutions on the way to the actualization of fully autonomous vehicles. To read the article, click here.

UniKey has been hiring on more talented software engineers in the past six months, and Isidore Baldado happens to be one of our latest new hires. We sat down with him to get his overall impression on working at UniKey so far.

UniKey: What is the best part of your job? 

Isidore: There’s a lot of best parts about my job, I feel like narrowing it down to one best part would be a disservice to all the other best parts. Overall, I’d say the best part of my job is being surrounded by a lot of good people. Everyone wants to help and collaborate. It feels very much like we’re working on one team, and everyday it feels like I’m learning and improving by working alongside them.

UniKey: What is the toughest part of your job?

Isidore: Just learning everything. I came in still somewhat new to professional software engineering, so things like proper version control, design patterns, DevOps, and even Android best practices are things I have to ramp up to. And then there’s also all the products we sell and how our entire platform and technology works. Luckily, I work on a really good team that always answers my questions and a boss who also acts as a mentor and gives me tickets which are within my capabilities but still challenge me to learn more about our platform.

UniKey: What separates UniKey from other employers?

Isidore: There’s a good culture here that strikes a balance between aggressive performance and understanding their employees. A lot of startups have unlimited PTO, but I’ve been actively encouraged to use it because we know that we’ll have times we have to put in extra work and the vacation is well deserved. A lot of employees have kids and families, and personal life has always held an equal priority to professional life. I feel like I can be the best engineer I can be because I know that the company is there to support me both professionally and personally.

To learn more about working at UniKey and our open positions, check out our careers page.

Isidore Baldado
Software Engineer, Android Team
UniKey Technologies

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been two years since UniKey first published this article. Several things in our world have changed since then. Apple has rolled out four new iPhones,  Verizon turned on 5G Home, the world’s first 5G network, and there are now more voice assistants like Alexa out there than there are Star Trek remakes (hyperbolic but still, you get the point). Our technology and the consumer products that have stemmed from today’s tech are changing. They’re advancing and progressing into smarter forms of their predecessors and delivering new, intelligent, and exciting experiences. However, no matter the technology advancements that have taken place these past two years, there’s one thing that has remained the same, and that’s the importance of consumer experience.

 

With CES 2019 currently underway we’re seeing the future arrive in the products companies are debuting at the biggest consumer electronics show in the world. These products are becoming more consumer-centric; delivering more personalized experiences that feel unique to every user. This year’s consumer electronics show exemplifies this movement. With Intellithing’s RoomMe which is the first solution to enable person specific, room-level presence-based operation of IoT smart home devices to Philips introducing a whole host of personalized consumer healthcare products on the showroom floor, personalization is climbing the ranks in importance. While personalization has become a priority for product developers, the key to maintaining consumers’ loyalty still lies in consistency. Jakob Nielsen, dubbed the “King of Usability” by Internet Magazine states that “Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen.”

 

Below is a graphic from retailtouchpoints.com that displays retailer’s continued emphasis and focus on creating a consistent user experience:

With this insight we can understand that: yes, personalization is becoming an evermore popular element to consumer products/electronics, however, the level of consistency in the products’ quality and reliability will always be the key to a winning experience and happy consumer-base.

 

At UniKey our top priority is not only keeping customers safe but also providing a consistently reliable at-door experience. To learn more about the platform and surrounding IP that makes this possible, visit www.unikey.com.

Historically, the physical access control space has been slow to change, as companies took on more of a “wait and see” approach to some of the more innovative pieces of technology being developed. However, in 2018 this mindset seems to have shifted from “wait and see” to “try and see.” What was once something the security enterprise shied away from, is now something that is a must-have. In 2018, more companies began to integrate wireless security systems as well as cloud-based software and smartphone technology as security companies begin to realize the cost-effective and time-saving benefits ingrained in these systems. All of this isn’t news to those of us who are keeping up with the security industry, however, what is new is how the first wave of advanced security systems will impact the security world in 2019. From cybersecurity to data-driven decisions to the convergence of the digital and physical security worlds, here are the top trends we expect to see in 2019:

Cybersecurity

With the growing adoption of new connected security systems, one of the biggest topics of interest we’ll see in 2019 is cybersecurity. According to the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) yearly report, industry leaders envision the upcoming year to be primarily focused on the implementation of robust cybersecurity. One of the greatest motivators of enforcing strong cybersecurity practices is the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s decision to hold companies accountable for failing to execute standard cybersecurity best practices. With more security systems being housed in the cloud, the call for rigid cybersecurity will be greater than ever.

Data-driven Decisions

With cloud-based and wireless systems we not only have new ways to make physical access control more seamless and intuitive but also new ways to make effective decisions about security. Today we’re living in a time where security needs to be evaluated by something more than what Jacobs and Rudis call, “faith-based security.” Our security systems are growing in complexity and so are the opportunities for data and security breaches. However, with connected security applications, companies are beginning to make better decisions based off pools of actual data, which can facilitate in the establishment of stronger security practices and protocols.

Convergence of the physical and digital worlds

As was mentioned in the above paragraphs, the establishment of cloud-based, wireless systems like mobile access control and other credentialing systems will continue to impact the security industry well into the next year and beyond. With these systems, physical and digital (cyber) security have become codependent on one another. In using these systems we’ll see an overlap in concerns, best practices, as well as the personnel who handle the systems. Karyn Hodgson of SDM magazine writes that “with this change, large enterprise customers are waking up to the idea that not only is their 10- to 15-year-old (or more) access control system probably not secure from a cyber perspective, but that newer systems can offer them so much more return on their investment.” As a result, we’ll see more companies upgrading their legacy security systems to the more robust and innovative security solutions.

Onward to the Next Year

As we make our way into the next year, we envision these security trends maintaining a fair amount of the security industry’s attention. To learn more about the latest in mobile access control or how to better prepare you and your company for the next year, visit www.unikey.com

 

Before UniKey’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Tam Hulusi, came to UniKey he worked for several notable companies like Honeywell, Newmark Technology Inc, and HID Global. His leadership experience with these companies gave him an extensive amount of knowledge on the security industry as well as valuable insights on what keeps a company and its employees happy. In his latest article, Dr. Hulusi reflects on the changing work world and how company happiness depends on several important factors and generations of people. Find the article here.