Mobile access and touchless entry
Lenel’s mobile user experience, BlueDiamond, enables the use of smartphones for authorized touchless entry. The BlueDiamond Multi-Tech Readers are the only Lenel door readers that work with the mobile app-based entry, so existing Lenel readers will not support smartphone credentials. Like Openpath, Lenel’s BlueDiamond readers also support proximity and smart cards for backward compatibility with older systems.
The mobile system is managed through the Lenel OnGuard access control system. Depending on the software version installed, you may still have limited cloud-based management capabilities. Once new users are set up in the OnGuard system, they can download the app to activate their credentials, and tap to unlock when near a reader. Openpath offers a similar cloud-based experience, where all administrators have remote access to the management system, so they can add or revoke new users at any time, from anywhere.
While Lenel does offer “hands-free” access methods, they require some initial setup from the user. In order to use the feature, users need to either enable pre-configured travel routes and commonly used entries in the app, or register a specific read-range distance for each entry. With Openpath, touchless access is enabled on the administrator side with a single click, with no extra work for the end user. Openpath’s Wave to Unlock feature also provides additional security by having users show intent to unlock, minimizing the chance for an accidental unlock and potential security threat. Lenel’s mobile readers use Bluetooth (BLE) signals to unlock. In comparison, Openpath uses a patented Triple Unlock technology, which simultaneously races Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data signals for a faster, more reliable unlocking experience.
Another advantage to Openpath access control systems over Lenel is the ability to send digital guest passes. Lenel users will still need to escort guests in person or give them a temporary card credential to use on the premises. With Openpath, users can create customized visitor credentials in the app, set specific time ranges and permissions, and send them via email or SMS to guests. This feature lets visitors open the door using their phone, without having to download the Openpath app.
Hardware requirements and considerations
Looking at the different hardware options in this Lenel access control review, the company has a few product ranges designed for various applications. However, only certain readers Lenel sells support mobile credentials, and others are designed to only work with proximity key cards. Like many other aspects of Lenel’s product lineup, the need for installing several pieces of hardware may make for a complex, convoluted installation. Even more, if you choose readers that only support the credentials you use right now, that same hardware may be obsolete in a few years—a very costly mistake. Nobody wants to have to replace their entire deployment after a year to have the best protection available.
A better option for your building’s physical security is to install a system with a future-proof product line. Openpath Smart Readers and Smart Hubs are designed to be multifunctional and support all credential types on the same system. Another benefit to a system like Openpath is that it’s backward compatible with legacy systems, giving you added flexibility and cost savings. Lenel’s access control systems are only compatible with Mercury controllers, meaning you’ll also have to replace the backend hardware if your existing system is made by anyone else.
For many modern spaces, aesthetics is also a deciding factor in choosing new technology, and the bulky brick-like access control readers offered by legacy providers just don’t cut it anymore. Openpath’s multi-technology Smart Readers are award-winning for its slim, sleek design and can mount flush with the wall for a streamlined finish. The readers are easy to install as it is compatible with any legacy wiring, as well as common third-party Wiegand readers. Openpath’s Pro Series Video Readers and Video Intercom Readers also feature a slim, sleek look, and can be adjusted for the best viewing angle during installation. In addition to the sophisticated hardware lineup, Openpath’s Embedded USB Smart Reader fits harmoniously with your existing physical architecture. The Smart Reader can be installed on a single gang box, in turnstiles or elevators, or even into a wall for smooth, subtle usage. Unlike the Embedded USB Smart Reader, much of Lenel’s hardware will be visible in your organization’s locations, and none of the current reader designs feature USB ports.