PlaceTech

Audio key inventor wins US patent battle

Dublin-based Standard Access has been awarded the US patent for its Sonic Handshake®, an audio-encrypted building access control technology.

The business, founded in 2014, has developed a suite of systems for running buildings using internet of things sensors from usage monitoring to energy performance, under the umbrella of a ‘Digital Spine OS’.

Sonic Handshake® is one of its key developments. Rather than using NFC or Bluetooth technology, this audio system for unlocking doors recognises a short, encrypted audio file unique to each tenant’s phone that unlocks the door. The sound cannot be heard by the human ear and aims to eliminate the need for keys, key cards and fobs when providing time-restricted access to rooms and meeting spaces within a building.

The patent process took more than five years to complete and comes when the company is expanding out of Europe and into the North American marketplace with its operating system for smart buildings.

Damien Browne, CEO, said:“‘Smart’ in the context of the built environment means connected, however, data alone is not enough. This data must be analysed and interpreted in order to yield actionable insights about how buildings perform, which in turn influence decision-making in a way that is impactful. Safe data generation, integration and analysis renders any building smart.”

The company has described the patent win as a hard-fought but timely competitive advantage that will allow their clients to offer flexible space, securely and seamlessly, within existing buildings.

The team at Standard Access are going through a funding round from a combination of Ireland, UK and US-based investors, which will accelerate expansion into new markets.

For 2021, the company sees building metrics moving beyond energy performance, user comfort and space optimisation, into pandemic-responsive solutions, for example, monitoring air quality and keeping a real-time headcount of people in a room or building at any given time. Integration with existing CCTV systems, compliance with social distancing protocols and monitoring mask wearing are amongst the new features available to building owners and operators. Critically, the Digital Spine OS secures the transmission of data between these various IoT sensors and devices.