Time for intelligent doors


A new intelligent opening system is set to shift North American access control after its April debut at ISC West in Las Vegas.

ASSA ABLOY’s Hi-O (Highly Intelligent Opening) is an innovative new concept for electronic door solutions. Hi-O establishes a network around a door opening, allowing the door’s components – such as the electric strike, key pad and proximity reader – to connect to each other through a 4-wire cable. The plug-and-play system means each component becomes compatible, regardless of the manufacturer.

“In a traditional EAC door, most of the devices are non-intelligent and the actual sequence of commands and services has to be managed by the EAC system controller,” says Eric Michelsen, Director Interconnectivity Platforms for ASSA ABLOY AB. With Hi-O, he explains, the intelligence is built into each device in the opening system.

“This system eliminates a lot of trouble shooting and decision making that used to be involved with access control,” says Bret Tobey, Intelligent Openings Business Development and Product Manager for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. “In the past, every component of a door was on a separate analog circuit. With Hi-O, we change from analog to digital messages.”

The system also simplifies installation, says Tobey. “There’s no doubt that Hi-O is a much better way to install components and everyone’s going to benefit from that ease of installation. With previous systems, you had to figure out how to terminate all these devices. Now you just snap it together and it all self-configures.”

By moving from a collection of analog circuits to Hi-O’s digital messaging BUS, the system also simplifies diagnostics.

“With a traditional EAC door, if there was a problem, you didn’t know if you needed to send a guy with a gun or a screwdriver,” says Tobey. “Now, with Hi-O, the door is capable of saying: I’m in the process of breaking, tune me up. So instead of sending that guy with a gun to see if someone’s breaking in, you get a text message telling you to fix the door.” This aspect of Hi-O makes it a logical choice for anyone managing a large number of doors, says Tobey.

ASSA ABLOY has already announced a partnership with CISCO systems, which launched a line of Hi-O supported hardware in May. Michelsen predicts that, within a few years, Hi-O will become the standard platform for access control manufacturers.