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Upgrade RFID

The story behind RFID Upgrade Kits for magnetic keycard locks

- 12 February 2021

Since 2006, the Hotek RFID upgrade kits have been a clever and sufficient solution for hotels that want to transform their magnetic card system into RFID locks. The most important reason to introduce our range of RFID upgrade kits for our own hotel locks as well as for any other major hotel lock brand was, foremost, the arrival of smartphones.

As amazing of a solution these smartphones are nowadays, they became a big problem for any hotel with a magnetic card system. If your smartphone got too close to the magnetic card, it would get demagnetised. Resulting in many complaints at the reception desk about magnetic cards that did not work anymore! All information was erased on the cards with unhappy guests as a consequence.

We got a request from a hotel chain where three different brands of locks were installed at 20 locations. This hotel chain was looking for one software platform for all the lock brands that they were using. As a lock manufacturer, it is no problem for us to create special RFD electronics which can fit into brands like Assa Abloy, Onity, DormaKaba, Saflok, TimeLox and any other lock brand.

It is the same as changing the battery of your car with a new battery from a different brand. However, some brands were not so happy and started sending lawyers instead of offering the same solution to their customers. They eventually did but it took them a few years to do so.

Now after fifteen years of supplying RFID upgrade kits, it is time to review our own RFID upgrade kits. In 2006 when we first introduced our range of kits, you only had to change the electronics and the reader. This made the upgrade kit a very sustainable solution as there is no need to change the complete lock. Hence, it is also an easy solution as there is no need to drill or change doors. And by using RFID keycards there is no wear and tear on the locks and keycards. Altogether a very cost effective solution.

Nowadays, you can still enjoy the same benefits of the upgrade kits but times have changed drastically in the past fifteen years. In the digital time we are currently living in, it is a matter of time before digital check-in and check-out will become the standard.

This is why we announce a new possible addition to the upgrade kits: a Mobile Key upgrade. In response to this ever changing world, we need to stay innovative. That is why we made it possible to upgrade the kits with a mobile key. And the great thing is: this is even possible for hotels that have already installed an upgrade kit.This means you can convert your old lock out of 2006 into a mobile key with digital check-in!

For other upgrade locking brands, we can offer a Mobile Key solution by adding our cloud GuestKey controller. This transforms your lock into a 100% future-proof mobile key. But are there only benefits? To be honest; no. Why? First of all, some brands are no longer existing and there are no more after sales possible. And speaking of after sales, some lock suppliers are not so happy to supply parts from a lock that was installed in for example 1999. So before using an RFID upgrade kit, make sure that there are still spare parts available for the old lock. If so, you are completely safe. If you want to make sure you are safe, please contact us for more information. We have been here since 1999!