50 billion devices will be connected in 2020


How many of them will be doors? Telecommunications company Ericsson, envisions a future where there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Whether true or false, connecting even a fraction of that many devices presents us with an opportunity for reflection: What does this mean for our business?

When we talk about door control or access control, we are usually referring doors that are connected to an access control system and the devices operating in this door’s environment; that is devices connected to the door, but not individually connected directly to the access control system. So what would it mean if each and every device were just that - connected to each other and to the access control system?

Let’s dive into the subject. ASSA ABLOY, parent company of HID Global, aims to be a leader in intelligent door opening solutions. We have worked towards this goal by creating intelligent door solutions that act on commands and provide information to their ‘masters’, i.e. access control systems, building management systems, etc. Now, with each door component, such as the reader, door opener and door closer being able to connect individually, you could actually say that this intelligence has moved to the door. ASSA ABLOY’s Hi-O technology makes this possible.

Hi-O is typically installed to secure perimeter doorway environments and other doors in need of high security and reliability. Communications between all Hi-O devices in a door solution - including handling access and identity control, code reading, and alarms through auto configuration technology - starts as soon they are installed and connected to each other.

For the customer this means that if a product fails or a Hi-O equipped door is not opening correctly, the Hi-O information communicated into the connected access control system tells the installer exactly which component needs replacing and where it’s located. This saves the installer a lot of time both on fixing the problem and on limiting obstructions in people’s convenience.

From a technical stand point, intelligence moving down into the door means that the value of system logic, (a large portion of the value) can in theory then be managed through cloud computing. This basically means that functions that are handled in the door environment today could be executed by software in the ‘cloud’ tomorrow. You will need knowledge about the domain; however I do believe that those involved in cloud computing and networking will learn pretty quickly, because they are good at that.

So if all devices were connected and mechanical key cuts were replaced by digital codes - and the value of the logic is moved out of the door - then you may wonder what is left. The answer is that the value of the codes, the key for access and security, are also the key for allowing product connectivity, which will take on the role of the enabler of the values in a system. Historically, in mechanical master key systems, the code or key has been handled by the OEM to ensure customer security and integrity. For readers today, HID Global provides a guarantee of secure generation, storage and distribution of customer credential codes, and this is becoming a business of its own.

Within the ASSA ABLOY Group, we have both the history and experience of mechanical keys from our cylinder companies, as well as the knowledge and technology for digital codes and secure identification from HID Global. And with HID implementing Hi-O technology into their readers, the circle becomes complete. We welcome a future where everything is connected.