The move to access control mobility

November 2015 Products, Access Control & Identity Management

With millions of South Africans owning some form of mobile technology, it was a natural progression for access control technology to begin driving towards increased mobility of use. John Powell, MD of Powell Tronics, says that it is not always practical to use a wall mounted access control reader, specifically where large numbers of people are entering and exiting premises that are remotely situated.

In addition to its on-site access control technologies, Powell Tronics has also developed a range of mobile applications that work synergistically with products from its suppliers, such as the Morpho range of biometric readers and Impro proximity readers and access control software. Five different offerings are available for a variety of market sectors and specific requirements.

ATOM biometric time and attendance products are Web-based to ensure ease of installation and maintenance, while at the same time providing the end user with a comprehensive workforce solution easily accessible from any point on the network. There are three variants of the Powell Tronics ATOM software suite – ATOM Core; ATOM Fusion; and ATOM Charged with its recently released ATOM Mobile feature set.

ATOM Mobile, designed to work with a GSM and Wi-Fi enabled handheld biometric fingerprint reader, bridges the gap in the market that was previously unable to assist remote sites with enrolment and time and attendance. Using ATOM Mobile, supervisors on remote sites are now able to biometrically enrol new employees, capture clockings offline and at the end of the day, dock the unit and upload all the information via WAN or GSM, back to the centralised ATOM database server at head office for payroll processing by HR.

Two products that continue to find growing popularity with the business and residential estate sectors are PT-Guest and PT-Scan. Both systems use driver’s licence and vehicle disc scanning as their basis of accurately capturing visitor details and are intended to replace the manual visitor book. Using a mobile licence scanners, PT-Guest scans and decrypts South African driver’s licences, the green barcoded ID book, and vehicle licence disc then integrates the data with the Impro IXP400 ImproNet access control system, along with other data captured such as destination, contact number, number of passengers and acknowledgement of the site’s Terms and Conditions for entering the site.

Zulmira Ferraz, technical manager at Powell Tronics, says that the company is excited to now be offering PT-Guest in a tablet version as an alternative to the handheld licence scanner. Developing PT-Guest for the tablet has allowed for features that previously challenged the handheld, in particular when capturing visitor details using a green barcode ID book. Although the handheld scanner will continue to be the preferred means of PT-Guest data capture due to its ergonomic and robust construction, the aesthetics and enhanced features of the tablet will allow for a broader scope of sectors that would benefit from the PT-Guest Visitor Management solution.

Catering to sites with little or no access control is PT-Scan, a Wi-Fi enabled standalone visitor information capture solution that also scans South African driver’s licences and green barcoded ID books, and makes use of its own SQL database and web based reporting system. The company continues to develop the functionality of PT-Scan and has added a feature that allows for assets to be scanned as well as passengers in the vehicles. In addition, simple network relay solution is now available for use on sites where no access control system is currently in place, thereby providing a basic form of access control.

In October the company launched an Android tablet application based on guarding events management system born from an adaptation of PT-Scan. Ferraz explains that a security guard would carry a tablet with this standalone application on his patrol route. When he encounters, for example, a car that has been parked in a parkade for extended periods of time, or people acting suspiciously, he inputs these details into the tablet for upload to the main system when back in the control room. The mobile scanning device will allow the guard to scan and capture vehicle licence discs, people’s driver’s licences or ID books and take a photo of the situation for record keeping.

PT-Rollcall was initially developed for the educational sector, whereby the software, working with a Morpho biometric fingerprint reader, will verify students attending lectures and examinations. This effectively eliminates students from employing others to attend lectures or write exams for them by comparing student biometric data against an attendance register that is connected via intranet to a known database of students.

Gaining favour with company internship programmes, the system consolidates all data at the end of a session for easy reporting. Developed during 2015, the software has since been generically developed to accommodate the various attendance applications. As with all the Powell Tronics mobile offerings, PT-Rollcall is a GSM and Wi-Fi enabled solution capable of capturing and storing information offline until such time as it reconnects to the network for upload to the centralised main system.

For more information contact Powell Tronics, +27 (0)861 787 2537,,


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

The benefits of electronic visitor management
August 2019, Powell Tronics , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Access control is a critical aspect of estate security as it represents the controls put in place to restrict entry (and possibly exit) along the outer boundary of the location.

CathexisVision video management software
August 2019, Cathexis Technologies , Products, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
The CathexisVision IP video management software (VMS) helps clients get the most out of their surveillance investment and reap rewards for their companies.

Extended two-way radio communications
August 2019 , Security Services & Risk Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
The two-way radio communication industry has been enhanced by the introduction of Halo PTT radio networks, which are GSM based.

MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme from IDEMIA is a touchscreen device with multiple recognition device interfaces (NFC chip reader, PIN and BioPIN codes, contactless card readers).

Range of grid-independent power systems
August 2019, Specialised Battery Systems , Products, Residential Estate (Industry)
SBS Solar has a range of solutions to provide power, save on costs and above all provide peace of mind.

Outdoor access terminals
August 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
Rugged, dust- and weather-proof access control solutions that provide exceptional durability in extreme conditions is a strong requirement for many residential estates.

Future-facing cameras
August 2019, Bosch Building Technologies , Products, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
All FLEXIDOME IP starlight 8000i cameras feature built-in Intelligent Video Analytics, making them intuitive, and elevates their importance far beyond security alone.

MorphoWave Compact
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The MorphoWave Compact captures and matches four fingerprints on either the right or left hand in any direction. It is robust to environmental factors such as extreme light or dust.

MorphoAccess Sigma Lite
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
IDEMIA’s MorphoAccess Sigma Lite and Lite + are fingerprint access control terminals, offering time and attendance in and out function keys.

End-to-end security solutions for residential estates
August 2019, Elvey Security Technologies , Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
While there are a multitude of security options available for residential estate body corporates, unfortunately the solutions are not always able to integrate seamlessly, resulting in a hotchpotch of disparate systems.