OPEN gets into the act

GE Security group to promote interoperability
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

WILTON, Conn. - GE Security has entered the open security arena, creating its own organization to promote interoperability in the physical security market.

The group, Open Protocol Exchange Network, comes as more talk in the security industry centers around open architecture and the need for interoperable security systems. Unlike the software market, which migrated towards an open platform years ago, the physical security market remains filled with proprietary-based systems and lacking standards.

Already OPEN has signed on XceedID Corp., a designer and developer of advanced contactless RFID solutions, as a partner. The group plans to build its membership base adding more technology partners.

“The more the better, and that’s what the open standard movement is about,” said Jay Pinkert, spokesperson for GE Security.

OPEN is not the first organization to promote open technologies and architectures in the physical security market. Approximately a year ago, Tyco, Computer Associates, HID Corp. and Gemplus joined as the founding members of the Open Security Exchange, a group formed to tackle open standard issues and provide a framework to take that approach.

Randy Provoost, product marketing manager for credentials and readers for GE Security, said OPEN is taking a different than OSE. While the OSE wants companies to adopt non-proprietary technology, OPEN, on the other hand, wants to forge interoperability through standardization, such as smartcard technology

“The government is looking for a great initiative to standardize,” said Provoost.

The access control market is probably one of the most diverse, especially in terms of card technology. While Europe has embraced smartcards, such as MiFare, the United States continues to use a host of solutions. Proximity is the most dominant, according to Provoost, but Barium Farite and Wiegand remain an option.

“We want to open that up, to give customers and systems integrators the opportunity to break out of the proximity domain into smartcard technology,” said Provoost.