The future of security lies in the ether of this world, in the intricate invisible highways and byways of wireless communication that, second for second, trade information between sender and receiver. This Brave New World is being ushered in on the wireless wings of key technologies such as GSM, RF, Wi-Fi and its successor Zigbee, and we as security professionals have the task of specifying the solutions that will best serve our clients’ needs from a reliability and functionality point of view.
It can be a daunting task – especially given the fact that wireless solutions have now become so ubiquitous as to almost be the norm – and we shall begin our exploration of the various systems available by first looking at some of the benefits of a wireless security infrastructure.
The first and perhaps most attractive benefit of going wireless is that it costs significantly less to install in terms of both labour and material costs. The stigma still exists in many home- and business-owners’ minds that security systems necessarily entail gigantic installation bills, but with the promulgation of wireless solutions, this can no longer be seen as a valid reason not to enjoy the fidelity of a technocentric security infrastructure.
Then there is the issue of simple aesthetics. Especially when it comes to the domestic security market, the majority of homeowners are none too keen on the prospect of having wires running along their walls like varicose veins and the very idea of digging, drilling and tunnelling is probably tantamount to aesthetic profanity.
These are issues that manufacturer Centurion Systems is all too aware of, and the company has been blending its access automation products with wireless technology for that perfect mix of security and convenience. Centurion’s SMARTGUARDair wireless keypad, released some three years ago, can be seen as the company’s maiden voyage into the wireless sea and it’s been smooth sailing for this access control product.
Thanks to its 15-channel output, the SMARTGUARDair has seen widespread use in applications from basic access control at the entrances to homes, counting rooms and restricted areas, to the control of lights, alarm systems and even air conditioning. The keypad is powered using two AA alkaline batteries and is able to communicate wirelessly via RF with Centurion’s secure code-hopping remote receivers. Up to 1000 one- to 10-digit codes can be stored in the unit’s non-volatile memory, making it the obvious choice for controlling access to control rooms where many individuals may require access.
The latest addition to Centurion’s wireless range is the G-SPEAK GSM-based intercom system. Still in its infancy, the product, consisting of two models – the G-SPEAK Classic and the advanced G-SPEAK Classic+ – already seems to have installers of security equipment abuzz with excitement. One security professional, Hannes Kruger from HT Security, was among the first to install the product when it was released at the beginning of the year, and he was sufficiently impressed and described it as being “cost-effective, quick and easy to install" and as “boasting great voice clarity”.
The G-SPEAK range offers dedicated dialling to up to four mobile phones (depending on the model), making it ideal for use in guard houses that are far removed from the main residence and makes for an efficient way for the guards to reach their charges in the event of an emergency. In addition, the G-SPEAK Classic+ is capable of input monitoring and will send enrolled users SMS notifications of conditions such as a gate that has been left open, an alarm that has been triggered, etc. Both models allow for remote switching of outputs; in other words, users can perform actions such as opening an automated gate or arming an alarm via a missed call or SMS from their mobile phones.
For more information on G-SPEAK and SMARTGUARDair, contact Centurion Systems, +27 (0)11 699 2510, www.centsys.com
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