ekey started in 2002 and is today Europe’s number 1 for fingerprint access solutions. With ekey, people become authorized – and not objects. Keys, cards and codes can be lost, forgotten or stolen, but the finger is always at hand. ekey currently employs over 100 people at its five locations in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein/Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia and exports its products to more than 70 countries. The export share is about 80 %. Other important sales markets besides the European Union are the US, Russia and China. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? EKEY: The core competence of ekey lies in fingerprint access systems for homes and companies. The special feature of our technology is the patented algorithm for finger recognition, which meets the highest standards of comfort, security and data protection. Fingerprint scanners are no longer only used in highly sensitive areas, but have become an integral part of smart living and working for many people. E.E: What’s the news about new products? EKEY: The new product generation was presented in September 2021: the ekey dLine. This new fingerprint scanner line for doors allows ekey, the European market leader in fingerprint access solutions, to act once again as a trendsetter within the door industry. The ekey dLine fingerprint scanner can be mounted in the door leaf or in the door handle. To open the door, ekey relies on cutting-edge technology with an area sensor. The ekey dLine thus offers the state-of-the-art technology customers are already familiar with from their everyday lives – e.g. from their smartphones. Using the fingerprint scanner has never been so easy. Additionally, doors also receive a smart upgrade with new functions, such as push notifications, remote access and remote opening or smart home connectivity, as well as easy management via the new ekey bionyx app. E.E: What are the ranges of products? EKEY: ekey is an innovation driver with almost 20 years of experience in biometric access control. Its special strength lies in the profound and comprehensive expertise, from the idea to the finished product. For many years now, ekey has been positioning itself as a pioneer in the field of access control – with its core product, fingerprint scanners, being the most convenient and secure way to unlock doors, together with complementary technologies such as code pads or RFID-based media. ekey is constantly working on further developments in the field of access control – the focus being on ekey fingerprint scanners as the gateway to smart homes. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? EKEY: There is already a wide range of smart home systems available to make life in the 21st century as comfortable and safe as possible. By using an ekey fingerprint scanner, these systems recognize for the first time who triggers an action. This allows to control access to a building by assigning specific people specific rights. There are hardly any limits to the imagination of the users. More precisely, this means that smart functions are increasingly supplementing the known advantages of keyless access with fingerprint scanners. To this end, ekey has invested in in-house research and product development in particular in order to integrate its systems even better into smart home concepts. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? EKEY: As smart home systems are on the increase, ekey focuses on smart functions, so that smart homes start at the door. With the user-related options, the smart home adapts precisely to the respective needs. For example, with an ekey fingerprint access system the house knows which people are present and which are not. Depending on who enters the house, not only can one open the door with its finger, but light, heating and blinds can also be controlled individually. It is also possible to prevent a child from turning on the TV or an electric stove if it is home alone. Parents also have the option of being informed by means of a push notification on their smartphone when the child opens the door via the fingerprint scanner and has thus arrived home safely. Limited time windows for access and access rights can also be defined for external service providers such as domestic help. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? EKEY: With the new ekey dLine, in addition to opening the door with the finger, there are also many new practical features and the smart house starts right at the door. In this way, ekey is already meeting today the customer requirements of tomorrow. Digitalization and smart homes are indeed increasingly becoming the norm. The smart functions of the ekey dLine are the following: The ekey dLine has impressive remote access and remote opening functions. This means that users and settings can be administered from anywhere and, if necessary, the door can also be opened via the app on one’s smartphone or tablet. This is particularly useful if, for example, guests have already arrived whereas one still is on the way home. Should it be necessary, remote support is also possible.Another practical and smart function are push notifications. Owners of the ekey dLine can be notified directly via their smartphone as soon as someone opens the door via the fingerprint scanner. This is particularly practical for parents as they thus always know if immediately when their child has arrived home safely.The ekey dLine is also preset for smart home systems, which brings additional convenience in everyday life. A simple voice command via Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant can open the door from the inside. Further smart home connections will follow, so that various events can be triggered – such as the control of lights, blinds, and much more – in accordance with personal needs and one’s imagination.The ekey bionyx app ensures simple administration of all functions and users. Authorizations for opening can be assigned individually, and there is a clear overview of all settings. Thanks to ongoing updates, customers always have the latest software and benefit from additional functions and continuous enhancements. The range of functions is constantly being expanded and completely new features are being added. E.E: What are your plans for 2022? EKEY: With the ekey dLine, a system that inspires processors and users alike was presented. After this first step, innovations can also be expected for other business areas. At the moment ekey is in the midst of developing many exciting and complex solutions.