IR scoops up Recognition Source

Deal gives IR access to up and coming wireless products
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Monday, November 1, 2004

ST CHARLES, Ill.- After operating as a standalone business for more than three years, Recognition Source has teamed up with IR Security & Safety to take its unique wireless access control product to the next level.

In late September, IR Security & Safety bought privately held Recognition Source and its product line, Wyreless Access. The line will now be marketed under the Schlage brand and to IR Security’s broader customer base.

“I always planned to put it in the hands of a strategic buyer after it got off the ground,” said Fred Conforti, chief executive officer of Recognition Source and one of the founders of the company with Dick Hansen.

Conforti said the benefits of joining up with IR Security are tremendous. While Recognition Source has a sales team of six, IR Security’s sales force numbers 600. The result, he expects, is a faster adoption of wireless access control products that he and others predict will be used by half the market within the next 10 years.

“We think it’s a big idea that the marketplace is just starting to get an interest in,” said Martin Huddart, vice president of business development for the electronic access control systems group for IR Security & Safety. “It’s a new paradigm for access control and we want to be at the front of it.”

Unlike other access control systems, the one offered by Recognition Source features an entire system that integrates within the door lock. It eliminates all the wiring needed around the door and 90 percent of the cost to install such a system.

Huddart said an installation that could take eight hours to complete and require three different skillsets decreases to one hour and a single technician using the Wyreless Access product.

“You can go out and install an online opening at the door much easier than a traditional, wired system,” Huddart said. “Some feedback we got from integrators was they could take $2,000 off the job. They were winning business by going wireless.”

Conforti said the product has been installed in 5,000 applications since its launch three years ago and used by well-known companies such as ADT Security, Diebold and Johnson Controls.

While financial terms of the transaction were not released, the deal with IR Security comes more than a year after Recognition Source secured $4.5 million in funding to expand sales, marketing and manufacturing of its product. It marked the second round of funding for the company and was preceded by $7.5 million in funding to get the company off the ground.

Conforti said a majority of employees remain onboard following the transaction. The company is also relocating to West Chicago, a move predicated by the company’s lease expiring.