How Samsung Italy built an access control system with ARTIK and resin.io

Inside the Samsung District in Milan, Italy, members of the sales and product & solutions teams meet with companies to showcase the latest technologies from Samsung. Visiting customers can see the newest and most innovative products in action. The B2B showroom demonstrates, for example, what a digital signage solution might look like when it’s installed in a store, or how collaboration tools could be used in a meeting room.

The Samsung team in Milan wanted a way to monitor and control who can access these technologies inside the showroom. They evaluated some existing access-control systems to install at the entrance doors, but none of these technologies met all of their needs. Some didn’t support open standards, while others were missing a smart and easy way to manage and maintain the hardware, while still others lacked the flexibility to add features over time. Most of the solutions evaluated by the team also had no support for corporate badge emulation through a mobile app and had no plans to add support for wearable devices.

Samsung employees were already using an access-control system based on Mifare badges; the company’s smartphones and smartwatches are already equipped with NFC capabilities and, thanks to their support for HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology, it was quite easy to transform these devices into virtual badges.

Now the overall architecture was just missing a smart NFC reader. Enter ARTIK, the Samsung IoT platform. Since the ARTIK platform is designed to be open, flexible, and easy to develop across use cases, putting together an ARTIK-based NFC reader was a piece of cake.

The resin.io platform has been a fundamental part of the project, and helped transform an ARTIK development kit into an NFC reader with remote management capabilities. Resin.io enabled an iterative development process, reliable deployment workflow, and web interface for remote monitoring, helping the Samsung team transform an idea into a product in a matter of days.

Now, access to the Samsung showroom can be easily monitored from an employee’s desk. New functionality can be pushed to the ARTIK devices in a single step with resin.io. Manual firmware updates are a distant memory.

Manual firmware updates are a distant memory

Marco Rivera, Solution Innovation Manager at Samsung, states that “this is the perfect example of how IoT technologies can improve our daily lives: now we can easily manage access to our B2B showroom from our desks, monitoring who walks in and enabling temporary access with a single click. And benefits are not limited to this: if we need to solve an issue or we want to add new functionality, we simply have to push a patch in our repository for all NFC readers to be updated in a matter of minutes.

“That’s why we are already thinking about potential improvements. The Physical Web could be a nice add-on, for example. Our guests would be asked to provide a temporary and personal PIN to enter the showroom; no more badges or app installation would be needed. This is the kind of innovation that we want to show inside our B2B showroom and that resin.io helps enable.”

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