Latch smart door lock, intercom, and access control review

See why enterprise customers prefer Openpath’s mobile access control and video intercom for commercial building security.

Openpath vs. Latch Access Control

Traditionally a residential and home door lock company, Latch recently announced they are introducing LatchOS for commercial office spaces. At the time of this review, the company’s products include a line of Latch Smart Lock options, a Latch Camera, and a Latch Intercom, with LatchOS cloud-based management software.

Quick look: key differences between Latch and Openpath
All-in-one video access

Openpath combines advanced access control features with live video footage

Open integrations

Latch supports few third-party integrations, mostly focused on residential apps

Unlock reliability

Latch reviews indicate that the unlock experience is slow and inconsistent

Touchless unlock

Openpath offers a more convenient hands-free unlock experience compared to Latch

Complete access control

Latch needs additional wiring and add-on devices to become an all-in-one product

Openpath’s innovative Video Intercom Reader Pro
  • All-in-one access control, video, and intercom system

  • 100% remote control through Openpath’s secure cloud-based management

  • Award-winning hardware design with slim profile and high-resolution camera 

  • Compatible with existing security systems and top app integrations

  • Seamless snap-in installation with a single PoE cable and standard wiring

  • AI capabilities for smart voice recognition and call routing 

  • Touchless Wave to Unlock for fast and reliable access

Latch smart lock and intercom access control review

Latch offers a few different smart lock and door lock options. Their products were originally intended for multifamily and residential use, and are now being made available for commercial spaces with the addition of LatchOS Commercial Office. However, a review of the LatchOS product line does not offer controllers or hubs for complete access control. Latch smart lock and Latch door lock products are designed to be battery-operated, but do have the option for POE+ wiring. Before installing a Latch office smart lock system, ensure your building is POE+ compatible, or be prepared to monitor and change batteries on Latch smart locks and readers frequently.

The LatchOS intercom and door lock system may not be the best option for enterprise or multisite businesses. Organizations would need to connect Latch smart lock and Latch door lock products to an existing ACU or other controller hardware to get the best security for commercial spaces. Plus, you have to install a separate reader, door lock, camera, and intercom device to get full security capabilities at a single door. It is recommended to choose a provider like Openpath that offers a complete line of commercial-grade products to get the most durable hardware designed with business needs and scalability in mind.

Video-enabled access control for offices

Visual verification is the future of remote access control. A common complaint seen in a Latch access control review is that they do not offer an all-in-one product for video and access. With Latch access control, businesses need to install a Latch Camera alongside their Latch office Smart Lock and Intercom devices in order to view video of access activity. While some Latch Door Lock and reader products have a built-in camera, they are only capable of capturing still photos. Having multiple devices installed at the door is not ideal, and is more expensive than having a single edge device that can handle both user access and video surveillance.

Alternatively, Openpath’s Video Reader Pro and Video Intercom Reader Pro combine best-in-class access control functionality with video capabilities in a single device right at the door. A key advantage of this type of technology is that the reader is positioned so that you see people’s faces, rather than the tops of their heads, and reduces the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining separate edge hardware. To get a similar experience with Latch, both the Latch access control reader and the camera would need to be mounted in the same place, which is not aesthetically pleasing, and more difficult to install.

Intercom and visitor management solutions

Visitor management is an essential tool for businesses, especially when it comes to security. Intercom systems are a popular option for multi-tenant offices, enterprise businesses, and multifamily communities. The Latch Intercom features tactile buttons for navigating through the directory, and uses a mobile app for answering calls. Video calling is only supported with an additional camera device connected to the intercom, and can only trigger unlocks via the mobile app.

In contrast, Openpath’s Intercom Reader features a built-in camera for easy audio and video calling on any mobile device, with convenient remote unlock. The slim, award-winning device features a simple video intercom doorbell, and voice-activated AI call routing for faster service. The smart voiceOS can also direct calls based on door schedules, user profiles, and availability, which is better suited for commercial applications than the Latch solution. 

Many commercial access control providers offer a feature for issuing visitor credentials, beyond lending out temporary key cards. Latch supports temporary visitor access with PIN codes, but a PIN code is not the most secure (as it can be easily shared during the visit), and requires guests to touch a common reader. A unique QR code that can be scanned at readers is a more secure and convenient option for guest credentials. Custom check-in flows, the ability to sign and record digital signatures, and ID scanning will require integration with a third-party visitor management system on LatchOS and Latch smart locks. 

A better option is to choose a provider with an open API architecture that lets you easily connect any enterprise-grade visitor management system, and USB readers for enrollment capabilities, or embed into turnstiles, elevators, and kiosks. A visitor management integration with Openpath, for example, issues guests temporary credentials instantly upon check-in at a commercial intercom system without having to interact with a single staff member, and all visitor activity is tracked throughout the building. 

Flexible access methods and Latch unlock reliability

Being able to choose your way in is a sign of a good access control system. Both LatchOS and Openpath support flexible unlocking methods including unlocking via a mobile app using Bluetooth or NFC, Apple Watch unlock, and key cards. Some readers from the Latch door lock lineup also can be unlocked using a PIN code, but the user experience is not as intuitive as some other keypad door locks, and it’s not touchless.

Touchless unlock is the preferred access method for mobile users, as it’s more convenient and safer than unlocks that require having a credential handy, or touching a shared reader. At the time of this Latch smart lock review, Latch supports voice-command unlock on some readers. Openpath’s Wave to Unlock feature is completely touchless; users don’t need to open the app to unlock the door, which is a more secure, frictionless user experience. 

A common complaint you may find in a Latch smart lock review is that the locks are slow to respond, or don’t unlock at all. There’s nothing worse than being locked out when you’re in a hurry, in the rain, or when you’re carrying coffee for the entire office. Openpath uses multiple signals simultaneously for a faster unlock with 99.9% reliability, plus offline functionality in case of a power interruption.

Another feature to look for in a modern access control system is a secure, digital identity. Latch has added this to its product lineup by introducing LatchID, which is a single credential for all Latch products. However, LatchID functionality is currently limited. Adding visual verification to physical access control, a true digital badge like Openpath’s gives users additional flexibility. In addition to opening authorized entries across locations and sites, the Openpath digital badges feature identifying information such as title, department, photos, and specific user information to help on-site staff authenticate employees, contractors, vendors, and other personnel quickly and efficiently.

Cloud-based access control with open architecture

Latch products are designed to work primarily with other Latch products. The LatchOS platform is cloud-based, which gives added flexibility over on-premise systems, such as over-the-air software updates. However, the current available integrations for LatchOS are mostly focused on residential applications, including personal thermostats and smart lighting. While some small offices may be able to use this, it’s not as helpful for multi-site and enterprise office deployments. Plus, the cloud-based platform is only as secure as the backend access control system installed—standalone Latch smart locks and readers would not make for an easy-to-manage system in a large building with more than a few doors.

The ability to integrate seamlessly with ANY device, software, or app is crucial to creating a holistic, full-building system that streamlines operations in the modern office. A commercial access control system provider that runs on truly open standards, such as Openpath, allows greater flexibility to customize a security system that fits each organization’s unique needs. Choosing a complete cloud-based provider with open API and mobile SDKs also means less existing hardware to rip and replace, and a more future-proof security platform.

Customer support 

When comparing providers in a Latch access control review, it’s important to make sure you have access to support whenever you need it. Commercial access control is vital to the security and safety of your business. That’s why your access control system manufacturer should be easy to reach, and ready to help when you need it. Openpath is known for great customer service, fast response times, and providing additional training and learning opportunities to address specific use cases, along with 24/7 priority support for enterprises. For better in-person service, Openpath partners with certified access control installers, and works with leading technology companies to give customers best-of-breed solutions. Openpath customers also have access to an extensive online library of how-to and troubleshooting articles, FAQs, and free security guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

Learn everything you need to successfully future-proof your physical access control system with this buyer's guide.

Alternatives to Latch access control, intercom, and door lock system

If Latch smart locks are not the right fit for your commercial access control, consider a provider that still gives you the flexibility of a cloud-based system, designed for businesses and enterprise. Openpath offers a complete, end-to-end access control solution, with hardware designed to accommodate any door density. Openpath is also easy to install, using PoE and standard wiring to avoid hidden installation costs. Openpath access control and intercom hardware is hard-wired for improved reliability over a battery-operated system. Plus, Openpath’s cloud-based integration with Allegion Schlage wireless smart locks gives businesses more options for interior door security, with all the convenience of one credential for every door, all managed in one interface.

For improved security monitoring, Openpath’s Pro Series Video Readers have a built-in camera to capture live, high-definition video of all activity at the door, plus smart intercom capabilities for secure visitor management. In conjunction with a cloud-based video surveillance system, businesses can get a clear picture of everything that’s happening in their space, without having to be there. Openpath’s access alerts with video ensure building admins can accurately assess the situation and react swiftly to any security incidents, giving you greater peace of mind that your assets stay safe.

If unlock reliability and flexible access methods are important to you, Openpath may be a better alternative to Latch access control. Openpath is backed by patented Triple Unlock technology to provide the fastest unlocking experience with 99.9% reliability, even during an Internet outage or in spotty cell coverage. Openpath also gives users greater flexibility in how they unlock the door, with touchless Wave to Unlock, in-app mobile unlock, Apple Watch support, and ultra-secure DESFire EV3 128-bit AES cryptographic key cards and fobs. Openpath is also backward compatible with any legacy access system, so you don’t have to replace the entire system to get convenient, future-proof.

Openpath + Schlage smart locks

Openpath seamlessly integrates with Allegion’s Schlage® wireless smart locks to expand physical security to any non-wired interior door.

  • Currently supports Schlage NDEB, LEB, and Control™ wireless locks

  • The fastest, most reliable mobile entry experience with touchless Rapid Unlock 

  • Cost-effective access control options for offices, k-12 schools, universities, and multi-family residential properties

  • Effortless installation with no wiring between Openpath and Schlage required

  • Support for in-app mobile and Bluetooth unlocks, plus encrypted key cards and fobs

  • Combined reporting for all Schlage and Openpath-enabled entries in a unified dashboard