Shared office space or large multi-tenanted sites mean that the front-of-house service must handle access control for visitors or delivery drivers. FM World spoke with Alex Shamy of Kisi about a true 21st century innovation that could make security and access control more streamlined process.
28 April 2016 | Alex Shamy
What's the problem with the current
"As Kisi Labs is based in New York, we often have meetings in class A buildings where you have to wait in long lines to get a badge and have someone tell you where to go. You also hear of cases where these same security guards are caught sleeping on the job. Human error is too high for an industry perceived as foolproof. We knew we could use technology to solve this, and that's where the concept of Drone Guard came from.
"In the US, A-class buildings are tightly secured skyscrapers with more than 10 security personnel in the lobby. Supply of A-class buildings is limited and expensive, but commercial tenants often need the same level of security."
So, how exactly do drone guards work?
"Guests and visitors are invited to the office via a calendar invite. Kisi then pulls the visitor email address from the calendar and registers them in the access system and schedules their visit for the indicated time automatically.
"The guest then receives an email invitation to sign up for the "drone guarded" fast-lane access. (To register, the guest must submit a voice sample and selfie.) When the user shows up to the building and presses the 'drone guard' button, the drone arrives at the front door and uses its camera to identify the guest using facial recognition. If the drone cannot authorise the guest by facial recognition, it will prompt for a voice sample instead."
What about buildings with multiple tenants on multiple floors?
"The drone can fly in hallways, staircases, and elevators. Using Kisi's access system, it can call an elevator and even control which floor to go to. It can also be set up by the tenant or in a multi-unit building by the landlord making this available to all tenants."
Amazing. How are they installed?
"The facility security personnel must sign off on the indoor drone use. Once given the go-ahead, all corners of the building need to be tested for wireless connectivity and equipped if necessary. The waiting zones for Drone Guard - usually stairwells or hallways - are then designated and outfitted with wireless charging technology Following physical setup, flight map and floor plan software is installed onto the drone, which then explores the building to verify the exact dimensions. Lastly, emergency procedures are set up and employees instructed about the drones and how to inform their guests."
Any other FM issues with a drone flying through hallways and taking the lift?
"Drones are programmed to keep a minimum distance of 150cm from any moving object to prevent any contact with guests or visitors. They are also restricted to flying within the building floor plan. When drones are operated outdoors there can be serious legal repercussions so there isn't a scenario when they can monitor the exterior security yet.
"As long as they are in wireless range, the drone can be used in large floorplans like warehouses."
Any other services a drone could provide in the workplace?
"Access control is just the start - wayfinding/navigation, in-office deliveries, and mobile surveillance are how we envision drones utilised in buildings in the future."
OK - but how much is this going to cost?
"To use Drone Guard in your building, you first have to have a Kisi Access Control System. The system costs about $1,000 for hardware and then $250 per month, depending on how many doors you would like to connect. Once installed, the Drone Guard costs $7,499 per drone, Kisi equipped phone, and floorplan analysis software. The product is only available for purchase by contacting the Kisi Labs team."
How will you approach the UK market?
"We are working closely with US facilities already equipped with Kisi. We do have a presence in the UK and expect to shift our focus to work with those clients in the coming months."