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How-Bluetooth-Technology-Works-in-Access-Control

How Bluetooth Technology Works in Access Control

Using smartphones for access control is not a new idea. Now a days, access control manufacturers are testing the mulitple scenarios and technology that can be used to open the door. In previous insight, we talked about the usage of Near Field Communication through mobile phones for access control. As the technology is improving, developers have used Bluetooth technology into access control system.

Bluetooth technology is used in a variety of applications to sync intelligent devices such as smartphones, wireless headphones, health trackers and computers. In operation of access control, using Bluetooth enabled devices as a key offers some interesting opportunities for physical security.

Access control authenticates you by following three things:

Something you have (RFID tag/card/key)


Something you know (PIN) or
Somthing proved your identity (Fingerprints)

The smartphone you are using have all the three authentication parameters. First things is key that also acts as a PIN to send an unlock signal and, phone can be unlocked by fingerprints (now a days all smartphones are biometric lock based).

Profiling and Authentication method

For using Bluetooth Technology in Access control, developers uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for high energy efficiency and performance. The devices enbaled with BLE technology can operate for months on single cell battery and is found to be best suited for IoT. BLE technology can operate with a maximum speed of 1Mbps with actual throughput of 10 ~ 35 Kbps and effective up to distance of 200 mts.

The operation of access control via bluetooth technology requires direct connection between the bluetooth enabled device and the controller using a software. Every bluetooth device has their unique ID which can be used as a PIN/key for the authentication. This process is called Profiling which is done through a software. This is a one time enrollment that takes place during the installation of the mobile application, from then on, the web based application controls access to the bluetooth device.

As Bluetooth-enabled smartphones continue to multiply as standard means of connection and communication between devices, a natural progression will be the use of wireless cell phones as electronic keys. The omnipresent and personalized nature of smartphones has made them the ideal credential for physical access control – something each individual has, something they know and something unique to the individuals themselves.

Pros and Cons of Bluetooth based Access Control

Access control using bluetooth technology using the smartphone will reduce the cost of hardware like readers. Only software profiling is enough to use your mobile phone to operate/authenticate access control. The pros also includes, you need not to enter any kind of PIN/Password to authenticate your identity, and now onwards your smartphone will be your identity.

But with the implementation of technology there are some cons related to it. FAR and FRR is more, also if there is certain disconnection between the device, it is quite tough to operate.

Like with any technological innovation it makes sense to start with piloting the technology. Make sure you are familiar with the merits and demerits of mobile access and see for yourself what the benefits and pitfalls are for your specific situation. And make sure you deal with a manufacturer that is sincere about the technology and is not only willing, but also capable of comprehensively explaining how to best utilize smart phone access in your particular situation.

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