Security intelligence at the edge

October 2013 Access Control & Identity Management

With CEM recently launching its most intelligent access terminals, we catch up with Philip Verner to find out more.

Q. What is emerald?

Philip Verner: emerald is an evolution of the traditional access control reader. With its sophisticated design and innovative LCD touch screen, emerald offers advanced access control reader functionality, integrated Voice over IP (VoIP) intercom and a range of remote server-based applications. With all this functionality built into one powerful device, emerald is more than a reader, it is an intelligent access terminal, available for any site that requires the highest level of security. Intelligent devices like emerald go beyond securing premises, it empowers users, improves overall business needs and increases operational efficiency.

Philip Verner, regional director of sales, EMEA.
Philip Verner, regional director of sales, EMEA.

Q. What is it that makes emerald so unique compared to the competition?

Philip Verner: As the next generation of CEM Ethernet edge devices, emerald is revolutionising the security industry. Its unique features include:

Custom LCD Touch screen: A bright, 4b3-inch LCD touch sensitive screen with hardened glass, displays predefined messages and icons to cardholders depending on their privileges. With hardened glass and an anti-glare coating, it is durable enough to be used both indoors and outdoors and is IP65 rated.

IP Reader & Controller: With advanced IP reader and controller functionality in one device, emerald communicates directly to the AC2000 host server using Ethernet connectivity, removing the need for an additional controller in the system design. The terminal has a large internal database enabling it to operate in offline mode should communications be temporarily lost with the host server.

Integrated VoIP Intercom: Using a built-in weather resistant microphone and speaker, emerald provides fully integrated audio intercom functionality at the door enabling two-way communication between users and security personnel.

Remote Applications: Remote applications are Web-based applications and services hosted on the AC2000 central database server and accessed directly at the door. They display critical system information and also allow maintenance engineers to locally diagnose and test.

Q. You mention that emerald is a revolutionary product in the industry, what has been CEM’s driving force in developing it?

Philip Verner: As a brand of Tyco Security Products, CEM always endeavours to release game changing and innovative access control products. CEM set out on the challenge to develop another revolutionary device with an advanced multi-technology platform for electronic access control and beyond. The goal was to improve card holder experience at the door and provide a platform for customers to improve their overall business needs. emerald design concepts were supported with years of industry and customer research.

For years there have been many driving forces in the industry towards edge devices. These include the development of TCP/IP connectivity, Web-based technology and the acceptance of communication standards. The strength of IP networks today enables Ethernet connectivity to quickly transport real-time data from the server to a local device, and vice versa. The acceptance of communication standards has also made edge devices possible.

In the design of emerald ‘SIP/VoIP’ protocol was used to achieve integrated VoIP intercom functionality and a secure Web portal was chosen as the platform of choice to enable remote server-based applications to run on the terminal. Intelligent devices like emerald go beyond securing premises to empower users and improve overall business needs and increase operational efficiency.

Q. The Remote Applications sound like an innovative concept, can you explain them in more detail?

Philip Verner: Using a secure Web portal and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security, remote applications access data that resides on the CEM AC2000 database. Remote applications act as a security intelligence point and are available to users which are allocated to a specific remote application group. They display real-time security information and statistics such as card status, scheduled visitors, top system alarms and most recent alarms on the terminal.

Additional applications include first and last swipes that can be used for time and attendance purposes, card details for individuals to determine access levels and card expiry date, and change PIN that allows users to proactively change their own PIN without contacting the system operator. The future possibilities are endless as CEM continues to add to its growing list of unique remote applications.

For more information contact Tyco Security Products, +27 (0)82 566 5274,,


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