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Smartair Smart Cards

Smartair access control utilises smart cards as the interface between the doors and the host PC. A smart card is a device capable of storing data on board and also having the ability to collect data in a system and pass that data around.

The security industry has seen huge growth in smart card technologies and while our own system utilises Mifare as the smart card platform, several other variants exist that have the potential to be used in an access control system. If you have any of the following cards in use (HID iClass, Legic, PicoPass & Mifare DESFire) then these can be incorporated into an access control solution like Smartair based on the fact that they have the ability to read and write data to the cards.

The Mifare 1K Classic (as used in Smartair by Abloy) is the most popular smart card in the security marketplace and has been used as the technology behind the Oyster Card in London Transport and also the technology used in season ticket schemes for many football clubs. In both cases, it is the ability to read data and write information back to the card that made the product suitable.

In the example of the Oyster Card. A reader will interrogate the card to see if the card has valid credit and is acceptable for the zone that the card is being used in. It then writes the transaction back to the card and deducts any loaded credit on the card in line with the fare being paid.

In access control, we predominantly use the smart card as a method of allowing access through a door without any need for there to be a physical link between the door and the piece of equipment that issued the card. In this way, a card is issued from a PC (using Smartair software and a desktop card programmer) and as the card is used at the appropriate lock for the first time, the card writes its access validity to that lock. The lock then receives the new user instruction and stores it into its own memory. The lock then in turn writes back to the card that access has been requested and either granted or denied based on the users access profile. This information is then stored on the card in the system until the card passes through an Updater where the information is passed back to the host PC or until the card is read at the desktop reader of the PC.

Lock-tec (UK) Ltd, 4-6 Castle Street, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 1BA
Company Registration Number - 06655590