21 Mar Interview with Keyless Entry Startup Kisi On How to Use Beacons
Startup Kisi, the brains behind the new keyless entry app, are bringing automation and simplicity to access entry. Instead of fumbling for keys or scrolling through apps and digital keys, Kisi lets users receive automatic access by leveraging the IoT. Now that they’ve added Bluetooth beacons, they’re seeing even more excitement and opportunities.
We got Kisi to share their experiences with beacons with us to help other startups looking to integrate beacons do so faster and with more confidence.
What tips would you give to companies looking to integrate beacons into existing projects?
How to buy: Make sure it fits your use case. Small things like whether it is weatherproof, how long batteries last for should also be taken into consideration. These are nodes in a system, so you would probably need to implement more than one, so buy a few extra just in case.
How to evaluate them: Compare different models or brands based on price range, size, and the technology it runs on. For example, make sure that the transmission power for the particular beacon suits the needs of the project. While both battery and USB beacons might have the same transmission power, you have to take into account the battery life of the beacons.
To prepare the company: it is essential to communicate to them what needs to be turned on for the beacons to work.
Things to do if you need the beacons to work in a certain way: program it beforehand before implementing them to ensure the roll out is smooth and consistent.
How are users liking the beacons? How can you tell the project is working?
The project is working well. Many of our clients other than New Lab enjoy using the beacons as well. Getting positive feedback from users themselves are an indication that the project is working. Specially the wireless beacons, these are our fastest items to configure and deploy. It takes us less than 10 minutes to set it up and have it running with Kisi.
How long did it take to go from idea to fully integrated into the app?
There are two parts to this process. We first needed to implement Bluetooth functionality in the Kisi app itself, meaning getting our app up to speed. That process took 6 months. The next part was optimizing the app to be used with the Kontakt beacons, and that included testing. That process took 2 months. In total, it took an estimated 8 months to fully integrate beacons into our system.
What kind of testing did you do with the beacons?
Testing is needed to ensure that the beacons can be synced up on our backend and we know how to identify them when a user comes to us. Testing also involved whether the Bluetooth technology in the beacons could work well with Kisi in mobile devices.
We also had to take into account the hardware side of our beacon project, we needed to have something that was small and did not require a lot of soldering. We decided to go with the thumbstick-sized USB beacons, this way we could simply plug in the beacon to a 5V female USB voltage regulator that could safely power the beacon with 5-24V, making it that much more versatile.
What’s the best part about the positive feedback you’re receiving?
The best part is knowing that Kisi has made the lives of users more convenient and fuss free with using their mobile phones as credentials for the beacons. Our installers love the battery powered beacons as they are super simple to install and don’t require any drilling or running any wires.
What kind of support and education did you need?
The technology was easy to learn, use and was rather intuitive. The Kontakt.io adminsitration panel gave enough information as to what user’s settings were, and the team at Kisi could go about advising them on the best configuration to work with their doors.