Keyless entry systems used in select buildings

Key-replacing apps such as Latch and KISI are being tested in various NYC residences

New York /
Jan.January 03, 2016 04:00 PM

A few apartment buildings throughout the city are trying out keyless entry systems.

Latch, a new keyless entry system from a start-up with the same name, is being introduced at a handful of NYC properties. KISI, another keyless entry provider, plans to roll out the system at a new 570-unit development on Staten Island in March.

In the next few months, residents at select buildings will be able to walk up to their apartment doors and enter without fumbling for their keys, according to the New York Times. And if the cleaning service or deliveries come by while they’re out, residents can use an app to let them in remotely.

For residents, the advantage is control and convenience. Instead of offering keys to the pet-sitter, contractor or house guests, residents can issue a virtual key. Instead of worrying about extra keys floating around that were lent out but never returned, one can simply disable access.

The appeal of this technology to landlords and property management companies is that they can track the comings and goings of workers, guests and deliveries. If a tenant moves out, or doesn’t pay the rent, the “keys” can be turned off. Access to health clubs, children’s lounges, pools and bike rooms can also be easily added or subtracted.

Designed by Thomas Meyerhoffer, Latch is a modern take on the old mortise lock. A camera sits behind a circular touch screen above the traditional keyhole and records who is at the door, so residents can determine whom to let in. Bluetooth technology allows Latch to communicate with your phone.

Once you register and download the app, there are a number of ways to open a door. You can use the app on your smartphone, input a key code on the circular touch pad on the door, or use an old-fashioned key.

The app can also be configured so that the door unlocks automatically upon sensing the phone in your pocket.

KISI, a cloud-based control system, is designed for buildings with doors that are electronically wired. Once installed, tenants can download the app to turn their smartphones into their keys. Depending on how the system is configured, tenants either tap a button on the app to enter the building or touch their phone to a reader as they would at an office turnstile. [NYT] – TRD


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