A Lincoln security specialist has launched an innovative electronic locking system, and is encouraging local businesses to get behind the modern solution.
By using digital locks, keys and unique software, business owners will be able to set personal access to restricted dates and times to their premises, as well as blacklist and rewrite stolen or lost keys.
Lincoln Security, based on High Street, have developed the electronic access system and interactive software with experts at the University of Lincoln and aim “to move locks and keys into the 21st century”.
The eLOQ product was officially launched on Monday, September 1 after completing a successful trial at The Shed bar on the University of Lincoln campus.
The company has two years of business plans on the drawing board and aims to ultimately launch a mobile, trackable key system which will be the first of its kind.
The wireless ‘electromechanical’ system consists of a battery-powered key which provides the power to the lock once inserted.
Once the key is used, its digital display system will check preset user credentials, permissions and the date and time on the user calendar.
The key always records an audit trail of each event so that administrators can track who has gained access at specific times.
The key stores up to 3,000 audit records of the most recent access events, and the lock stores the most recent 15 events.
Marketing and Business Development Manager at Lincoln Security, Peter Corlett, said: “We embarked upon this product development about 18 months ago having identified a gap in the market for a low-cost solution – we sourced the hardware ourselves and write the software in-house.
“In order for us to have the software development capability, we established that a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership)o with the University of Lincoln was the best way forward.
“The audit trail feature is great because it allows the administrator to see who’s been where and at what times. If you wanted to change any settings, it’s really simple to change them at any time.
“If a user lost a key you can actually blacklist them from the system so that if anyone tried to use it afterwards access would be denied, and the software would still record that someone has tried to do that.
“Despite the protection of patent law, a big problem we are seeing at the minute is people 3D printing keys as that technology becomes more sophisticated. eLOQ overcomes that issue with encryption.
“Next year, we are going to be releasing what’s called a mobile key, which will have GPS installed in it, so they will be traceable from your computer.”
Lincoln Security say they are working primarily towards system affordability, which sets them apart from companies offering similar products.
Peter added: “There are a couple of products like this at the minute but they are a lot more expensive. Our typical locks range from around £50 to £100 and we also have padlocks which are between £50 and £65.
“The software system is then tailored towards the company’s use.”
The system has been on trial at The Shed bar for around three months. Bar Manager Dave Andrews said: “It’s been really good. It’s made it a lot simpler. In the past we had about 20 different keys that we had to carry about at one time and now we have one.
“Now, different members of staff have access to the areas that we want them to and we’ve found the technology is very simple to use and it’s very time saving.”
eLOQ software developer Nandagopal Lakshminarayanan said: “We’ve integrated the locking solution with computer software which gives you interchangeable accessibility. It allows you to set the users, register the keys, create time and calendar profiles and grant or limit access when needed.
“When it comes to software to have to meet standards for how it is done but also for encryption methods. We do have to combat the threat of database cracking so we specifically encrypt the database so that anyone wishing to hack it, still could only get to limited information.
“The key and lock are also use ‘triple DES’ encryption algorithms, checking the system three times on use.
“The software is extremely user friendly and Lincoln Security also offer on-the-phone support or can come down and help locally too.”
Lincoln Security are also locking to work with distributors as they expand their product.