Passive Entry: The Second Generation of Mobile Access Control in PACS


At some point in our lives we have all used RFID technology, whether it was in the form of a hotel key card or a car key fob. This little piece of technology can be very handy, but unfortunately it holds several vulnerabilities in efficiency and sustainability. It’s also not the best at security. In the past, there have been several instances in the hotel industry where guests have lost important belongings or information to RFID hackers easily bypassing the technology’s safeguards. However, to be fair to this piece of technology, it is about 69 years old. Which makes it quite humorous to think that if RFID was a person, it’d most likely be screaming for a well deserved retirement.

In a study by Markets and Markets it was estimated that the net worth for the Access Control Industry will “reach USD 9.80 Billion by 2022”. These numbers come as a direct result to the industry’s advancements in physical access control products, along with its expansion into other industries, both of which are steps away from RFID and other limited forms of access control. Currently, the front-runner for taking out RFID’s long-lived reign is mobile access control.

It’s been predicted that a whopping 70% of the world’s population will own a smartphone by the year 2020, making smartphones a natural contender for carrying us into the next generation of access control. What’s more is that these miniature computers already contain all the necessary technology that will be needed for future integrations and communication with the IoT and its connected products. Today, we’re already seeing several well known Physical Access Control System (PACS) manufacturers developing their versions of IoT connected smart locks, and while these locks are a great step in the right direction, they still fall short of what the next generation of PACS will aim to create: The ultimate at-door-experience. “What is the ultimate at-door-experience?” You may ask. The answer to this is simple, it’s a user experience that provides superior security, convenience, and smart technology that feels natural to the user.

Moving to Mobile

In the coming years, the Internet of Things is going to be huge. More and more devices will be connected and working together to create a world where manually regulating home appliances, physically shopping at a grocery store, and even driving cars will be a thing of the past. With all of the advancements in the IoT, the ubiquitous smartphone and its Bluetooth® capability is technology is the perfect liaison between access control and IoT technology. In the future, all of our credentials and security info will be embedded in our smartphones, meaning that a person will be able to seamlessly use their phone to lock their front door as well as open their car door without having to pull it out of their pocket.

Two Parts Simple, Three Parts Safety

Today, we have some of the most innovative technology in PACS, which currently is in the perfect position to transition our world into the next generation of access control. UniKey’s CORE platform uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to bring our passive, Touch-to-Open® solution to life. This patented technology creates a personal connection with users as all they need to do is tap the reader and the door unlocks, without having to pull out your phone or wallet. Altogether, our mission is to drive towards a natural user experience in the readers we power. Tomorrow, smartphones will make life easier and safer as mobile access control platforms have the potential to provide the biggest step toward even stronger methods of security.

As surprising as it may seem, smartphone sensors actually have the ability to be used in conjunction with advanced security applications such as biometric identification, usage-pattern recognition, and other advanced techniques in order to create well-fortified points of entry. Just imagine walking up to your office building’s main entrance and as you approach, your face is scanned to confirm you are an employee, and your phone simultaneously communicates with an access control reader to authenticate your credentials. While this process occurs, you don’t have to do a single thing except walk through the front entrance. This is what is known as dual authentication, which is perhaps the strongest form of security in the access control industry, and coupled with the smartphone it can create a superior user experience that is as convenient as it is safe.

The Future is Simplicity

Our future is going mobile which means it’s time to retire RFID and move onto a smarter access control platform that can jump-start us into the future. A certain physicist once said that, “the main purpose of science is simplicity.” It’s time that we start shaping our access control platforms into systems that are simple, yet sophisticated, intricate, yet accessible, and most importantly: prepared for the future. To learn more about implementing mobile access control and future-ready technology, please visit