Introducing AP3T

Our first markets of CALA and Africa are really rough places. Our customers really care about physical security. Everything is built tough, and it’s normal for thieves and vandals to bring dedicated equipment to break into locks. We started with the AP3 padlock, with a 10mm boron steel shackle. This shackle is tougher than most of the things it secures, so thieves usually end up going after fences, hinges, hasps, or other weak points near the padlock. We don’t often hear a customer in those markets say “your shackle is too thick”.

When we introduced the long shackle, it was just as tough with 10mm boron steel as well. It was designed for applications where the extra length facilitated getting the padlock off and on based on hasp design.

As we expand across North America, we recognize that access control is often about compliance and ensuring that workflows follow the right steps, and are reported correctly, rather than about raw physical toughness. That’s not to say tough is bad, but sometimes the hasps just need a smaller shackle in order to fit. 8-10mm hasp diameters are common in Canada and the US.

We’re introducing the AP3T, a thin-shackle version of the AP3, to address these needs with compatible options for our customers. This makes it easy to add more points to the Teleporte keyless access control network without expensive and inconvenient retrofits.

AP3 with 10mm Boron Shackle on the left. AP3T with 7mm stainless shackle on the right.

In addition to the new AP3T, we’re also offering new add-ons, such as accessories for confined spaces, to ensure that, with Teleporte, you can secure almost any physical asset. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about our line of hardware accessories.

Our goal is to provide a unified access control solution to our customers, to help them secure all their physical assets through a single secure, reliable, and simple platform. We’ve learned that many customers can benefit from a mix of boron, long and thin shackles, as well as our unlock controllers to enable a comprehensive keyless access control solution without a lot of retrofitting.

To learn more, book a demo or reach out to [email protected].

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.

Failsafe Unlock Explained

The Teleporte keyless access control system uses digital certificates as keys and controlled through a mobile phone application.  We have proven this method to be secure, scalable and reliable. Teleporte works on practically all Android and iOS devices (over 700 models in use and counting), so we ensure great user adoption. Users access the vast majority of our locks in this way.

With the recent launch of Teleporte server 3.4, we introduced the Failsafe Unlock feature. With this, you can still get into your locks in the event your smartphone isn’t working; whether the phone’s battery is dead at the end of a long working day or somehow your phone is damaged and no longer functions. The Failsafe Unlock feature provides you with a 4-digit flash pattern that you replicate by holding the button on the lock or with our Access Pad. Entering the valid code will grant access to the lock.

How Failsafe Unlock works as a user.

Failsafe Unlock is even easier to use from the administrator’s side. The administrator will tell the user the code and record who they gave it to in the admin panel. This way, Teleporte system maintains the access logs. The code is unique to each lock and is only valid for a few hours. Failsafe Unlock is now available to all Teleporte Enterprise subscribers.

With this innovation, we are enabling the transition to digital access control by eliminating the last of the reservations for going keyless. For more information, contact us or click here for more product information.

Teleporte 5.1 for Android: French Support

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Teleporte Mobile Application version 5.1 for Android. In addition to numerous minor usability and bug fixes, we now provide French language support natively in the app. Teleporte for iOS to follow shortly.

Teleporte Cloud Server 3.4 Launched

Cloud server 3.4 introduces one major new feature: 3.0 of the REST API.  This new API has additional security controls, allows for multi-organization control and surfaces new features and better performance than the existing API.  API onboarding and usage instructions can be found publicly at https://apidocs.sera4.com. Existing customers using the prior generation API will not be affected and a sunset date will be announced sometime in the future.

In addition, we have added support for flexible lock licensing. This feature tacks the exact license dates and features for each lock, allowing organizations to supplement additional locks with licenses at any time. Administrators may now see greyed out icons for features which can be enabled via additional licenses.

Finally, small feature fixes have also been implemented that target improved readability of reports, the usability of the administration dashboard as well as performance fixes for the download of digital keys to mobile devices.

Teleporte 5 now available for iOS

We’re excited to share that the Teleporte 5 mobile app for iOS is now available on the Apple App Store. This new release brings the current Teleporte experience to iPhone, aligning with the look and feel of the latest Android releases. This release is part of our ongoing commitment to compatibility with as many smartphones as possible.

Teleporte Android App 5.0

Today, Sera4 released version 5 of our Teleporte mobile app on the Google Play Store. Version 5 introduces full compatibility with the Teleporte Single Sign-On servers. From now on, users will sign in to the Teleporte app on their mobile phones and are be provided with the choice of organizations where they have memberships throughout the Teleporte network. In addition, there are a number of improvements in the user experience.

The Teleporte mobile app remains free for anyone with an Android device to download and use.