Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Perspective On Z-Wave Door Locks

Yesterday I made some unkind, technophobic comments about Schlage's new Z-Wave automatic door locks.

While I'm still of the opinion that they represent a shining example of the maxim that you should "never buy the first generation of anything" I did recieve an email from a colleague that was worth reprinting. He's got decades of experience in commercial systems, and I value his opinion.


The problem with the networked products for home use is that most people can't get their arms around the port forwarding required to gain access from the outside world.
Assa Abloy has a cool tcp/ip card reader that is basically a HID Vertx panel inside a little box. The box can be on the secure side of the door while the reader and other accessories are merely control points, not hackable. Even now only one manufacturer is going to write to it, when they do it will rock the entire industry. Your access control panel will now be a POE switch. Fully SNMP monitored and out of the realm of the security knuckleheads once and for all (a data guys dream!). A real change is coming to the integration side of this business.
Ingersoll Rand, the Schlage people, have a great hotel presence and a superior wireless solution. In a commercial application, I have used their wireless solutions before and they are rock solid. Albeit expensive. With the proper SDK for high end integration houses, the residential product wil do fine.

His points are noted, and I would suggest that if your firm is planning on working with these, that you test the hell out of them in your workshop (not to mention adopted beefy passwords) before you start specifying them into jobs.

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