RFID Grows in Access Control Market With Vehicle ID Systems

Who would have thought that one of the initial applications for radio frequency identification (RFID) wireless technology was for farmers to control and monitor their farm animals. Although that still holds true today, RFID has evolved and traveled into different industries, including security, specifically the estimated $1.4 million access control market.

The wireless technology has been integrated with access control systems in many forms, one being automatic vehicle identification (AVI) systems at locations such as commercial parking facilities and residential communities. The systems are also being used in government institutions, highway toll roads and other kinds of security, especially asset management.

Although AVI systems in general consist of passive and active cards, tags and readers and are widely used, the number of RFID systems is growing due to various factors, such as a decrease in price and better frequency. Some dealers contend AVI systems with RFID are reliable, have longer read ranges than non-RFID cards and tags, and are convenient due to their hands-free approach.

“It has no limitations to any windshield,” says Larry Landis of Parking Systems Inc. in Shaumburg, Ill., and principal of Sterling Estates in Justice, Ill., a trailer park community where he installed an RFID AVI system. “It was really simple and less complicated to install, and the read range was phenomenal.”

As with all kinds of security systems, it is vital to assess which AVI system—whether RFID or not—is best for your client. “You have to sit down with the client and figure out where everything is going to operate,” contends Ira Weiss, executive vice president of Phoenix Security Group in Brooke, Va. “Then you have to look at what kind of system you should put in.” As with Landis, other dealers are installing AVI systems with this wireless technology for various uses and are seeing positive results.

Gauging RFID Vs. Traditional Tags, Readers

With so many tags and readers in the access control market, which kind is best for your client? That depends on what their needs are for their location and on the tags and cards you believe are best suited for the location. For years, RFID wireless technology has been available to the security industry by a number of manufacturers. However, a lot of access control systems are comprised of passive cards or tags.Hands-Free Use Is Key Advantage for Users Although traditional AVI systems are still considered vital and beneficial in the access control market, many dealers are using RFID technology because it is easier to integrate with access control systems already in place. Also, the technology’s read range can also be extended farther, as much as 20 feet.RFID Functions Expand in Commercial Market Mark Glanz, president of Glanz Technologies Inc. in Miami, says the price tag for commercial installations can vary from $2,500 to possibly a quarter of a million dollars, a price one of his clients paid for an installation at a 12-floor parking facility for a bank. The installation even included placing traffic lights. “The number of tags and readers for commercial clients really varies,” he says. “On the average, a commercial client needs about 2,000 tags and a reader for about two entrances and two or three exits.”Technology Opens Up New Markets for DealersRFID technology has popped up in many locations for security purposes as well as for tracking and monitoring purposes. Many companies with access control systems use RFID tags for asset management. Companies that process food use RFID technology to monitor food temperature within their facilities. It’s even used for robotic security in lieu of security guards at warehouses and shipping yards and other locations. Even embassies in the United States and elsewhere are beginning to embrace this wireless technology for AVI systems.Assessing Client’s Needs for RFID Is VitalWhat may be a perfect fit for one client may not be a tailor fit for another, even if most or all of your clients own the same kind of properties. At times, finding the right fit could result from trial and error.

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