Brivo ‘Mobile Pass’ brings smartphone access control to all

Brivo's digital credential enables smartphone door access without hardware upgrade
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BETHESDA, Md.—Cloud-based access control provider Brivo Sept. 21 introduced a new "mobile pass" that will enable 7 million current Brivo users to use their smartphones for access control.

The digital credential is a new feature of the Brivo OnAir access control system that allows Brivo system administrators to unlock doors with smartphones. Brivo OnAir customers will now be able to distribute mobile credentials to their entire user population without any on-premise hardware changes. 

“What’s unique is that this is entirely through the cloud, and it does not require a change to the reader or controller," Steve Van Till, Brivo CEO, told Security Systems News. "On Friday [Sept. 25] this will be available to the 7 million people who have credentials in the Brivo system now."

The mobile pass “starts off as a credential but my vision is that this is a richer platform,” Van Till said. The platform will eventually enable many different functions including two-way communications between the people who manage a property and those who use the property.  “You could use it for an 'if you see something, say something' program, [for example]. … Its use as a credential is just the tip of the iceberg,” Van Till said.

To set up the mobile pass, the Brivo OnAir administrator sends a Brivo Mobile Pass invitation via email to users. The user clicks a button on the email to download an app on their Android or IOS phone. The app talks to a cloud-based API to open the door, Van Till explained.

“When designing it, we recognized that cloud-based authentication is a very well understood field, with rich solutions that work very well for banking, electronic signatures and the like. We chose to adopt these proven secure approaches over the much less developed technologies that are utilizing Bluetooth door readers," Van Till said in a prepared statement.

“I think right now [a mobile pass] will be regarded as a cool feature that’s nice to have, but I think within 12 months it will turn into one of those must-have features,” Van Till said.