Another Update to Teleporte Dashboards

We upgraded all customers to Teleporte Cloud 3.16 this week, with new powerful data visualizations. This is a significant step forward. We share more data, in more useful ways, that leads to more informed and better decisions.

Here is a preview of some of the updates already available to all customers. One of the big advantages of using a cloud-based solution is that upgrades happen transparently in the background and are available to all customers instantly.

The new User tab now includes a dynamic graph of a user’s access history and new option to filter digital keys. 

A summary of a user’s lock notes and work session events is also accessible from the new User tab.

A new picking window to edit tags to add users and locks is convenient. It allows you to work on these fields without having to leave whatever page you’re working from.

Our customers can now add locks and assign keys to Teleporte sites more easily with the new intuitive web interface.

We also improved our mapping interface in 3.15. You can select contrast and points of interest with the new options menu. Access points can be filtered based on lock status (open, closed) and lock type (padlock and controllers).

This is just a preview of the powerful features of the Teleporte platform for managing distributed physical access. Contact us for a complete demo. We love to show this off.

Sera4 Announces SLC2

A New Standalone Lock Controller for Keyless Access

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA, September 13, 2022 — Sera4, a keyless access control solution provider, today announced the SLC2, a new keyless lock controller that integrates the power source for an electro-mechanical lock.

“Having the controller power a lock is revolutionary,” says Jerod Klink, Chief Technology Officer at Sera4. “Today, most installations include wiring for a lock, power and door sensors. Finding power, running wiring to the door, through the frame and into the lock is the most complex and expensive part. With SLC2, you can install everything on the inside of a door. It’s much simpler, easier and cost effective.”

Targeted for use in cabinets, shelters, and enclosures in critical infrastructure, SLC2 works out of the box with locks that require 12V and less than 1A to drive. This covers most electro-mechanical locks, including electric strikes, drop bolts, slam latches and swing handle locks. SLC2 is appropriate for retrofitting the control of existing access systems using keys, codes, cards or fobs, as well as for new construction.

“Sera4 padlocks and controllers have never needed a wired data connection to a central hub. In that sense we’ve always been wireless,” says David Coode, Chief Executive Officer at Sera4. “With SLC2, we are going a step further because this controller doesn’t need to wire to power either. This is a big deal for installers, which also saves money for our customers.”

Sera4 is celebrating the launch of SLC2 with two open BBQ lunches. One occurs September 12 at Graybar at 130 Hayward Avenue in Kitchener, ON and the other on September 13 at 7245 Hwy 50 in Woodbridge, ON. SLC2 will be on display for the public featuring live demos at these events.

SLC2 is in production now with volume availability in October. Just like the AX5 lock controller, SLC2 is made in Canada.

About Sera4
Sera4 protects critical infrastructure in remote places around the globe. Sera4’s keyless platform for physical access control is both easy to use and highly secure. Operating across four continents, Sera4 provides security and identity control for some of the world’s largest service providers. To learn more about Sera4, visit www.sera4.com.

New Icons in the Teleporte Mobile App

We’ve always considered the padlock icon in our app to be generic. It can represent all types of lock, and is meant to show the open/closed or locked/unlocked status visually.

With Teleporte Mobile App 6.2 and above, we are introducing new icons that match certain types of known lock. Our own AP3 armored padlock is the first of the new icons that customers are likely to notice. The old generic padlock icons will continue to represent unidentified lock types.

This is a cosmetic update that we hope can bring moments of charm to our users experience.

Introducing Access Manager

Teleporte makes it easy to grant physical site access to almost anybody at almost any time. Our customers issue digital keys all day long. Contrast this to setting up a Teleporte physical access control network for the first time, or adding new locks. That’s something that only happens rarely.

We recognize that a secure system is one where the user rights are in line with the job requirements. That’s why we are introducing Access Manager with Teleporte 3.15. Access Manager is a new profile created for our customers. Like a Teleporte Admin, Access Manager has all the power to grant and revoke keys and deal with any issues that might arise on the network. Unlike a Teleporte Admin, Access Manager can’t modify the locks setup in the system, or modify users, or other setup activity.

Closed circle for Access Manager; Closed and Open for Administrator

Customers who outsource their NOC manager roles will really appreciate this new role. The contractors will be able to do their jobs effectively without risk that they do things that might cause harm.

All customers will be seamlessly updated to 3.15 in May 2022. Customers should email [email protected] if they would like advice on migrating some existing Teleporte Admin accounts to the new Access Manager profile. Anyone else should contact us to learn more about what Teleporte can do for you.

Download with Confidence

We write all our own software at Sera4.

We choose to do it because we believe this is the best way to ensure both the security of the platform and the best possible user experience. Not all keyless access control providers insource their app development or software engineering resources. We believe that the risks are too high to save money like that.

There are some things you can look at before downloading an app that can give you some clues to how well-designed and maintained it is.

  • How recent was the latest update? Operating systems constantly change and security threats evolve. Apps need to be constantly updated to keep pace. We suggest that an app that hasn’t been updated within the last 4 months has been suffering for lack of attention.
  • How many downloads does it have? This can give a good sense of how much real-world use this mobile app has seen. Apps with recent Release Dates or few downloads may still have some bugs to work out.
  • How big is it? Bigger downloads are often a result of the inclusion of cross-platform libraries, media or extra code. All this extra code can present added attack surface. Besides, who wants to run out of phone memory faster?
Teleporte on Google Play — captured on April 11, 2022.

And, of course, take a look at the ratings and reviews in the app store, and decide for yourself.

If you’d like to learn more about how we design the app, our embedded code, our cloud servers for security from the ground up, contact us.

PS. Of course, we code our embedded firmware and cloud servers 100% in-house at Sera4 as well, and our apps are coded natively and independently for Android and for iOS.

New Dashboard for Teleporte Admins

Although there have been many new features introduced and many behind-the-scenes improvements, the overall look and feel of the Teleporte Admin Dashboard has remained largely the same since 2017.

With the launch of our server 3.14 (released today, on pi day) we are previewing our new Dashboard design, built on the latest technology. After 5 years and a lot of customer use, it was time for a major upgrade. Any customers who want to try out the new interface can do so easily, as follows:

  1. Login to Teleporte.
  2. Click on your user name in the top right corner of the interface
  3. Select the option “Teleporte Dashboard (Beta)”

And that’s it: you’re in. You’ll notice an interface that should feel familiar and brand new all at the same time.

Some Highlights of the New Dashboard

The new menu

We designed this update to be intuitive and have very little re-orientation time for our existing users. For example, the Menu has been redesigned as you see to the left. This design is just more intuitive and useful than the old straight list.


New Notification Format

One of the first changes you’ll likely notice is that the Notifications look different. You can see much more information and add comments. For photo notes, you can now see the associated pictures. You can dismiss notifications by clicking the checkmark. A new Filter function is useful for selecting the types of Notifications that you are interested to see.


Real-time updates

Perhaps the most compelling feature of our new dashboard is that it updates data in real time. The original dashboard will display information that is current when it is loaded, but requires reloads to refresh the data. Real-time updates without user interaction make this Dashboard even more ready to deploy to a NOC out of the box.


There are many other updates to discover. Some are subtle improvements to be discovered in time. Others are obvious. Our goal in designing this was that by the time you have logged 30 minutes, you never want to go back to the old one.

The new Teleporte Dashboard will remain in preview for a couple of months while we encourage all our users to try it and share their candid feedback to [email protected]. After the Beta period ends and you’ve had the change to test it in your environment, we plan to migrate everyone to the new Teleporte Dashboard as the only available view. This will mean the retirement of an interface that many of us have grown very familiar with, but we are confident that the new one is worth the switch.

If you aren’t a Teleporte user yet, contact us and we’ll be happy to show you the new dashboard in a demo.

Keyless Padlocks in Winter

Winter is hard on padlocks. We know. We live in Canada. Cold can make oil sticky. Freezing rain and a hard frost can seal moving parts. Here are some things you should be considering when deploying keyless padlocks in a winter climate.

Battery Types

Most battery types (and all rechargeable types we know of) have significantly shorter battery life as temperatures drop below freezing. A typical rechargeable battery will not only lose charge in the cold, but will not recharge well in the cold either. Batteries that can’t perform in the cold will leave you locked out in the cold.

When a battery has charge, it needs to be designed for the cold to deliver its rated current in the cold. This is why automotive batteries in cold climates advertise Cold Cranking Amps. Lower current leads to less powerful or slower internal motor operation. This may result in a lock that does not open or close as it was designed to do.

The solution is simple. Ensure a battery is designed to work in the cold for reliable winter performance operation.

Sera4’s AP3 padlock uses replaceable Lithium Thionyl Chloride batteries. These military-grade batteries are formulated to perform similarly in the coldest and hottest natural temperatures on Earth.  In the event that the battery is out of power after a time (this happens to every battery), the micro-USB port is convenient and accessible and facilitates access. An added bonus is that maintenance is a lot faster on a replaceable battery than with a rechargeable padlock. We can also deliver our products will full charge and ready-to-deploy, where rechargeable batteries need to ship at 30% charge.

Electronics

Electronics used outdoors in the winter must be designed and qualified for reliable use in cold temperatures. Consider that most consumer electronics in winter climates is still consistently used above the freezing point. Electronics require additional design and quality considerations to function reliably in deep cold. Designing electronics for the cold follows well-known quality standards (such as AEC-Q100), requiring specific attention during product development. We don’t expect consumer-grade electronics to consistently work outside in the dead of winter.

Ice Buildup

You should be concerned about ice buildup on padlocks in the winter. Humidity or water can get into parts of a lock and then freeze. Once there is solid ice around a mechanism that needs to move to open or close, the best thing to do is to melt the ice.  This is obviously inconvenient. We recommend focusing on simple installation tricks that will keep precipitation off the padlock in the first place.

AP3 is IP66-certified, so it will be fine to be left out for years in the rain. In winter climates, we recommend installing a simple vinyl flap over top of the padlock as shown below. This simple solution has proven in our tests to be more effective than more complicated approaches. 

In case you do find a padlock with significant ice deposits, try to resist the urge to hit at it with a hammer to chip away at accumulated ice. This usually only removes superficial ice and can result in surface/finish damage to the padlock body or shackle. Instead, try pressing the shackle deeper into the lock body. This will often dislodge stuck compoenents. Another smart option is to use a lock de-icer fluid. These bottles are small, inexpensive and effective.

Don’t let winter get between you and the benefits of going keyless. With the right products and a little bit of care during installation and operation, winter won’t be an issue. Feel free to talk to us if you have any questions about padlocks in winter weather.

Sera4 releases Work Sessions

Sera4 is thrilled to announce that we have launched Work Sessions. This represents a significant advancement of our Site Assurance module in Teleporte. Work Sessions is available now to all Teleporte Enterprise subscribers. 

Over years of digitizing access control for industrial infrastructure, we see a consistent story emerging. Access and time-on-site is more complex than it is for someone getting into a safe or opening a bicycle lock. Often, teams access sites and sometimes arrive and leave at different times. There are usually several locks or access points on a site. With Work Sessions, we are making the process of access management and site security much more fluid and powerful.

Linking Event Records

With Work Sessions, we group Teleporte activity from the moment the first person arrives on-site and checks in, to the time the last person leaves. This means that once a site is open, locks can be open and closed within a work session without opening and closing the site. A different person may close the site and mark it as secure (all locks registered closed).

The interconnectedness of events in a Work Session

A record of the links between events in a site visit can be as powerful as it is convenient.

  • Understand how long a job takes to complete on site, and even get verified timing on specific components of a job
  • Have workers take accountability for ensuring the site is secured when leaving
  • Control who gets access based on prior behavior
  • and more

All of this is automatic and in the background while you enjoy the benefits of going keyless with Teleporte.

Available Now

To access the latest features including Work Sessions, Teleporte users will upgrade to the Teleporte App version 5.4. Our servers are already updated.

Click here for access to the latest documentation on the Teleporte Features and learn more, or contact us. We would be pleased to arrange a demonstration of Site Assurance and what it can do for you.

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You (Webhooks Are Here)

With every security component added into a critical infrastructure, comes the inherent need for information, automation and control. As the number of critical components in your infrastructure grow, so does complexity and the necessity to stream information as it happens. Integrators and clients are now looking to being on the receiving end of data in real time in order to provide critical dashboard updates. We’ve listened and we’ve delivered.

With Teleporte Cloud server 3.5, we have added a critical component to our API capabilities: the concept of webhooks. In a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” manner, Teleporte Cloud is now capable of calling your secure endpoint with real-time data concerning events that are happening inside your system. Webhooks are to APIs as fuel is to a fire; they can ignite your integrations and get your organization on the receiving end of updates as they happen. Remember, polling APIs is so 1990’s, go real-time by enabling webhooks.

To better understand what the difference between an API and Webhooks are, consider this simple analogy:

APIs are request based. They are useful for pulling data on demand.
Webhooks are event-based. They are useful for receiving critical events when they happen.

API + Webhooks = Complete Automation Capabilities

Teleporte Cloud now supports webhooks that can be configured for updates to important events (such as the creation or deletion of digital keys), access requests to locks and even the creation, deletion or update of system users. As an example, if you’re looking to know that ‘administrator X with email [email protected] created a digital key to lock 21, on site B that is valid from Tuesday at 9am to Tuesday at 5pm’ as it happens, then webhooks are your holy grail! Get on top of and react quicker to events happening in your infrastructure by enabling webhooks.

Feel free to ask us about our Slack integration. Our webhooks support Slack out of the box and can have your team seeing the benefits of webhooks within seconds.

Get more details about webhooks at https://apidocs.sera4.com or contact us to discuss how you can get webhooks working for you.

High-Security Keyless

In protecting your assets, there is always a tradeoff between convenience and security. For example, when you go into your office every day, you want to get in through the main doors without any delay.  But when the asset requires the highest security,  added rigour such as additional security checks are necessary.

The vault application is a good example of how keyless solutions are catching up with old standards for addressing high-security requirements.

  • Vaults often include locks whereby 2 keys are required and placed more than 6 feet apart. Two individuals, each of whom have their own unique key, must open the lock at the same time for the door to open. This approach prevents a single rogue actor from opening a door when they do not have authorized access
  • Another high-security standard opens a door after several minutes of unlock delay. This delay, connected with alarms, is a strong deterrent for criminals. They know that law enforcement will be coming while they are waiting for the door to open.

Bringing these features to Keyless

Sera4 has released Teleporte Cloud server 3.5 and Teleporte Mobile application 5.2. All Teleporte Enterprise customers now have access to high-security protocols to match the use cases above. 

  • The new Multi-Authentication Unlock feature requires two or more users to unlock a lock. Each user has their own key for that one lock and each user must issue the unlock command to the same lock. The lock only opens after all required users try to open the lock on their own account.
  • The new Delayed Open feature can be enabled on a lock-by-lock basis. The administrator can configure the delay. When someone unlocks a Sera4 lock in the Teleporte Mobile application, it will open only after the specified delay.

At Sera4, we envision a fully keyless world. With these innovations, we bring keyless benefits to the highest-security applications, such as vaults. We expect that there will be many applications for these new features that we haven’t even imagined yet.

For more information on the available features on the Teleporte Cloud server, click here. Or simply and contact us to arrange for a demo. We’re excited to show off our latest innovations.