Kisi: Redefining Physical Access Control

Bernhard Mehl, Co-Founder & CEO
In modern, tech-driven offices of today, secure and mobile access control is key for healthy company culture—“virtual key” being the operative words. While traditional access control systems, such as key fobs and cards, are used to unlock doors, they actually create barriers to entry when it comes to integrating smartphones and other smart devices.

To help organizations build a more mobile and secure workspace using existing door hardware, Brooklyn-based firm Kisi provides highly scalable facility access control, using a combination of smart devices, cloud software, and mobile technologies. Additionally, Kisi offers BLE and NFC-based door readers, cloud controllers, mobile and physical credentials, and access control software, which creates an additional layer of intelligence at all the physical access points of a workspace.

Access Control, Granular Control, Remote Control

“Our technology is designed to make life at work, easier,” says Kisi co-founder and CEO Bernhard Mehl. “Kisi’s simple web dashboard and easy-to-use app save administrators and employees time, create fewer interrup-tions, and add up to a positive work experience day after day.”

With identity verification at the forefront, Kisi’s SaaS-based software enables administrators to generate group key profiles that can be used to control access at a granular level. This ensures that the right person is permitted to access the correct doors at a facility. Kisi also enables remote keyless entry provisioning by providing authorized unlock credentials, regardless of the administrator’s location.

The company’s reporting feature allows administrators to monitor and log access in real-time from the Kisi dashboard, even when they are out of the office. This way, administrators are able to automatically maintain a log of all the people who have entered the premises around the clock, while having direct access to all the entrance data.

Speaking of data, Mehl says Kisi has some data-driven research in the works. “We are now building R&D projects where the system calculates individual office hours based on machine learning to assess the behavior of the people, predict arrival times, and check for anomalies,” he explains.

The Virtual Keys to the Kingdom

While most of the key cards available today are easy to duplicate, Kisi provides 128 bit AES encryption on mobile and cards that guarantees security.

The Kisi door access control system can be centrally managed by the administrator via cloud and can be used with smartphones, secure access cards, or even temporary visitor access

If a visitor does not have access to an organization, Kisi enables the administrator to provide access to them via a mobile device that acts as a virtual key.

Moreover, Kisi enables restricted access based on day and time. Its software is comprised of an easy setup wizard, while the hardware components are plug-and-play enabled. Using Kisi software, administrators can simply plug the door control system into the Ethernet port, activate the control, set up employee policies and voila—the system is ready for use.

To enhance the integration capability and scalability, Kisi’s tech is compatible with applications, such as Google Apps or Microsoft Azure, offering token-based authentication.

The Kisi Legacy

Over the years, Kisi has installed its intuitive software across several offices, campuses, data centers, and high-traffic facilities around the world.

While assisting Digital Ocean, an IT services firm that provides server hosting, Kisi came to the rescue with mobile-based access control when the firm faced challenges providing and restricting access to its growing number of employees.

What’s Next?

On a mission to deliver solutions for door access management and physical security to as many facilities as possible, Kisi aims to integrate improved machine learning, facial recognition, and blockchain encryption into the system for advanced capabilities.

Kisi News

U.S. Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance 2020

Brooklyn, NY - Cloud-based access control company Kisi has released their 2020work-life balance city index, showing how major U.S. and international cities from the 2019 edition have since been impacted by the global pandemic. While every city in the index suffered economic, social and structural consequences, the results of this year’s edition show that having a safety net in place for workers made a large difference in how a city navigated the crisis.

Kisi first explored the topic in their 2019 study by determining the U.S cities whose residents had the most well-rounded work-life balance, which was gauged by looking at work intensity, livability and thewell-being and rights of inhabitants. The company did not design the study to be a city livability index, norintended it to highlight the best cities to work in; but instead as an indicator of a city's ability to provide a healthy work-life balance for its residents, while providing opportunities to relieve work-related stress.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many employees have had to adjust to remote working due to lockdowns, while also trying to maintain balance between their work and life commitments. Considering that economic conditions have changed drastically in many cities since then, the company decided to go further in this year’s expanded edition by examining whether some cities were more impacted than others by the pandemic. The resulting index offers a look into the U.S. cities that have best managed to best maintain and promote the structures needed for a healthy work-life ecosystem amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the study was conducted:

As a company based in Brooklyn, NY, Kisi began by evaluating the local working climate in 50 U.S. cities. Then, to understand how American cities compare on a global scale, an international study was conducted, including 17 notable U.S. cities and 33 international cities known for attracting professionals and families for their work opportunities and diverse lifestyle offerings.

Each city’s overall work-life score was evaluated based on a series of factors such as the amount of time a person dedicates to their job — taking into consideration total working hours, commuting, and vacation days used. Next, Kisi researchers measured the extent to which different types of individuals in a city receive equal treatment, evaluating their access to state-funded health and welfare programs, as well as institutional support for equality and social inclusivity. Each city’s livability score was then determined by examining its affordability as well as citizens’ overall happiness, safety, and access to wellness and leisure venues — to assess whether their residents can enjoy their environment after office hours.

Finally, Kisi looked into the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on a city’s work-life balance in several key areas: the restriction of movement, the severity of lockdown measures, the overall economic impact, and the projected percentage change in employment as a consequence.

The result is an index of 19 factors determining the work-life balance of 50 U.S. cities, followed by a global ranking of 17 notable U.S. cities and 33 international cities, recognizing those who encourage a healthy balance both directly and indirectly through policies and urban infrastructure, while also bringing attention to those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.


Brooklyn, NY

Bernhard Mehl, Co-Founder & CEO and Carl Pfeiffer, Co-Founder & CTO and Maximilian Schuetz, Co-Founder & COO

Provides cloud-based technology enabling secure physical access control systems for commercial facilities