What is a Smart Access Control Reader?

12 November 2019

Biometric Fingerprint Access Control Readers

An access control system consists of several elements of which the most visible is the reader used to gain entry or exit through a doorway. As well as general card readers and keypads there are specialist readers designed with features for specific applications.

Access Control System Operation

Access control is the process of granting or restricting entry to areas or zones outside and within a building in order to protect the physical assets and users including employees, visitors and sub-contractors.  Examples of access control include:

  • Car park barriers with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) – airports
  • Visitor management (paper or electronic booking in and out) – museums
  • Security Guards and door ‘people’ to check tickets and identities – football matches
  • Traditional locks and keys – small offices, flats, homes, shops and vehicles
  • Automated electronic access control systems

Electronic Access Control Systems provide automated door access control during normal everyday operation and in emergency situations. Access Control Systems can form part of an integrated security plan for an entire site and facility or just operate as a standalone system. For example with a PIDS to monitor fence, underground or underwater intrusions with CCTV systems.

Typical sites include: Education, Commercial Buildings, Healthcare, Industrial,
Retail, Hospitality, Finance, Data Centres, Utilities, Military, Government
and high security facilities requiring CPNI certified systems.

Access control systems are more efficient and reliable than other forms of access control:

  • Locks and Keys: can be copied or lost to compromise an entire building
  • Security Guards: overhead and training costs, reliability and availability (24/7)

PLUS relatively simple data driven tasks become far easier with an access control system

  • Audit Trail and Muster Reports: how do you know who is in a building and where they are?
  • Building Efficiency: configure infrastructure systems to meet energy and wellness criteria
  • Threat Management: immediately respond to door alarms and events and protect users
  • Remote Management: immediate restrict access to a lost credential or authorise one
  • Incorporate Future Trends: mobile, biometrics and Internet of Things (IoT) tracking beacons

EntroPad Keypads and Card Readers

The Remsdaq EntroPad is a highly versatile smart card reader, designed to work with any Wiegand-compatible access control system, including the Remsdaq Entro range of 2-door and 8-door controllers. An OSDP version is also available as part of the range.

EntroPad is also ideal for clean room environments with its built-in antimicrobial properties. These have been third party tested to ISO 22196:2011 to verify that the integral antimicrobial protection kills up to 99.99% of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria over a 24-hour period. The EntroPad range is therefore ideal for use in access-controlled areas in hospitals, laboratories, surgeries, food manufacturing & preparation companies.

Another key feature of the EntroPad range is the use of coloured LEDs. The device has a LED colour band and keypad that can be configured to show in either red, blue, green, amber, magenta, cyan, yellow or white. The feature allows EntroPad to be matched to a corporate colour style. EntroPad is easy to configure using a Config Kit that can also be used to set the keypad not to make a noise when keys are pressed, or a card read. The EntroPad range also includes a request to exit (RTE) version.

EntroWatch CS is a CPNI certified featuring the complete Entro series range for high security UK government sites.

Biometric Fingerprint Readers

Remsdaq have integrated the EntroWatch v3.0 Premium Edition (PE) version with the IEVO Ultimate fingerprint scanner. The Ultimate, is CPNI certified and uses an advanced multispectral imaging (MSI) sensor to provide a cutting-edge biometric access control solution. The device reads data from bot the surface and the subsurface levels of a fingerprint to reduce read errors created by factors such as dirt, moisture and tissue damage.

The IEVO Ultimate uses advanced encryption data transmission (AES 128bit encryption) and provides a highly accurate and quality image to allow the IEVO control board to perform 1: N matching of up to 50,000 fingerprints. Setup is via the EntroWatch v3 software to allow fingerprint biometric credentials to be stored against a user along with any other credentials in the form of an access card and/or pin.

The IEVO Ultimate case is rated at IP65 with anti-tamper and vandal resistant fittings and can be deployed in harsh weather conditions. The unit features proximity detection, clear LED and audible indications and built-in environmental controls; heater and humidity sensor.


Access control readers are the most visible part of any access control system. Selecting the right type of reader and keypad is a critical decision and there are several options to choose from. Choices range from simple mullion card readers to the EntroPad type of card reader and keypad to biometric fingerprint readers like the IEVO Ultimate. Biometrics have a price premium due to the cost of the image sensor required. Readers like the EntroPad can be more cost-effective where the installation doesn’t require biometric but still requires a smart card reader and keypad.