Gantner pairs existing campus cards with modern lockers to deliver convenience & security
Enter “smart,” contactless lockers.
The state of locker systems on the contemporary college campus has effectively set the stage for a newer, smarter solution.
“Smart lockers use the latest contactless technologies to deliver both improved operations and user experience,” says Gerhard Pichler, business development manager at Gantner Technologies.
Gantner has been empowering lockers with contactless technology for decades, delivering improved locker management solutions to water parks, spas, hospitals, corporate campuses and universities.
The key – both figuratively and literally – to these shared locker systems is the campus card. Smart lockers, or contactless lockers as they are often called, use card readers and common ID technologies – cards, fobs or phones – as the credential rather than a key or combination.
Using an existing card with Mifare, DesFire, iClass, Felica, etc. opens up a new world of possibilities. “Using a student ID card as a locker key, smart electronic locking systems eliminate many challenges associated with traditional locker management – lost keys, blocked lockers, and resetting combinations” says Pichler.
With modern smart locker systems and management software, institutions can effectively take control of their locker resources and achieve greater insight into their actual use. A smart system can also automate the assignment of lockers so no staff interaction is required.
There are various smart locker architectures with different levels of control, but all deliver advanced capabilities such as:
- Streamlined locker assignment
- Reduced time required for locker administration and maintenance
- Compatibility with international standards based technologies
- Increased security, transparency and control
Batteries, wires and architectural choices
At this point, you may be wondering about implementation logistics. Maybe you already have banks of lockers that you simply don’t care to overhaul. Key to contactless lockers is that they can be retrofitted into existing locker units or integrated as entirely new deployments.
If lockers are to be retrofitted, a wireless, battery-operated system is the right solution. Since battery locks aren’t hard wired they can be easily built into existing lockers. These systems are an easy solution for universities looking to upgrade to smart lockers. “Advantages of a battery-locking system include the ability to limit students to one locker, easy key replacement, and a clear status display showing locker availability. Battery-locking systems, however, can’t provide the same level of management as a networked system,” says Pichler.
A networked, or connected, locking system includes wired locks and controllers that can be managed remotely via locker management software. When a networked locker system is installed, Pichler explains that the locks will be sent to the locker manufacturer for inclusion and the controller infrastructure will be commissioned on site during the locker installation.
Controllers are typically connected via low-voltage power supplies to the main network, states Pichler. If there is a power failure, lockers stay as they are – open or closed – but connection to an Uninterrupted Power Supply alleviates the issue.
Networked locking systems provide greater capabilities than battery locks, including detailed locker usage statistics, real-time monitoring, as well as scheduled synchronization and notification tasks.
Gantner’s locker management software enables configuration and management of their networked locker system. Features include a networked alarm, occupancy monitoring, and remote locker control. The software offers detailed usage statistics and the ability to integrate with third-party management software, such as campus card or security systems.
“With a fully integrated smart locker system, universities can easily rent lockers via an online student portal and increase security with a networked alarm, connected to the campus security system,” Pichler adds.