See why building managers prefer Avigilon Alta, formerly Openpath, and the all-in-one Video Intercom system over AlphaTouch for their security needs.
You might be considering AlphaTouch when searching for a video intercom system for your building. The solution is primarily designed for multifamily residential security systems and may not be suitable for commercial use, due to some limitations in features. While the company does not have a wide range of products to choose from, the few video intercoms they offer serve basic security functions. The AlphaTouch system is adequate in many cases, but there are some disadvantages to consider before choosing the intercom. In this AlphaTouch access control review, we break down the video intercom features in detail and compare how the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro might be a more advanced and convenient option for your security needs.
|High app rating
AlphaTouch’s low app rating shows users find the system difficult to use
Avigilon’s built-in camera has higher resolution than AlphaTouch’s camera
|Voice AI call routing
Avigilon Alta’s voice AI ensures visitors can always connect to a person in charge
|Touchless access option
Avigilon Alta’s Wave to Unlock technology supports convenient keyless access
AlphaTouch requires hardware and reader add-ons and extra wiring
While some AlphaTouch intercom features can help simplify security procedures, there is a lack of advanced features to make AlphaTouch a powerful access control solution. Their video intercom comes with a 3MP built-in camera and a 120-degree view. Although camera resolution provides sufficient visual verification, there are other more advanced systems with higher-definition cameras and wider views. The system is easy to install and comes with a built-in reader. Features like text messaging between apartments and elevator control are convenient, but there are many video intercoms on the market that offer more in terms of security and flexibility. Despite the list of convenient features, the low 1.7 user review score on the Apple App Store and 2 stars on Google Play indicates that these technologies might not be reliable or user-friendly. Touchless and mobile access are also unavailable in AlphaTouch video intercoms.
Although visitor assistance is offered with AlphaTouch, the system only has the option of adding on a separate staff station that connects to a receptionist. This station is where residents can call a receptionist using smartphones and standard telephones, and where tenants can ask the desk staff to grant access to guests. The station features a touchscreen and two-way video calling, but this feature does not come built-in and presents inconveniences after hours, when the receptionist is no longer available. In this case, visitors have no option but to return to the building when the receptionist or tenant they are looking for is available.
In the Avigilon video intercom, the 24/7 intelligent call routing technology helps visitors connect with tenants based on customizable directory paths, instead of just one destination. The directory options include an alternative tenant, voicemail or specific directory path based on settings determined by the users. The responsive voice AI guides guests to specific options depending on tenant availability and access and door schedules. The many connection options in this feature lessen the chances of visitors being turned away when tenants are unavailable or having to return to the building at another time. This flexible feature is particularly useful for couriers and regular vendors who need temporary access to make deliveries. As courier schedules and the times tenants are in the building don’t always align, the call routing makes it easy to accept packages at any time. Plus, this convenient feature is also touchless. With no directory that could expose tenants’ personal information, users’ privacy is protected.
AlphaTouch and Avigilon video intercoms run on a cloud-based system. However, AlphaTouch lacks the flexibility in scaling that most cloud-based security systems benefit from. The system works for the usual size of apartment buildings, but may not be suitable for commercial high-rises with a larger number of tenants. Plus, the video intercoms are not manufactured in-house, increasing the risk of losing required updates and support. On the more positive side, management is relatively straightforward. The AlphaTouch Cloud Portal allows remote centralized management from a single dashboard, where users can observe entry events, manage access, and open doors remotely.
The Avigilon Alta system offers more versatility compared to AlphaTouch. When it comes to effortless management, Avigilon Alta offers the ability to automatically sync users to the directory, configure new locations, add and edit directory paths, and manage entry events in real-time, all in a single dashboard. The remote management allows admins to oversee multiple locations from anywhere in the world, and the convenient remote unlock streamlines security procedures. To add to the list of benefits, scaling is infinite and simple with Avigilon Alta. Users are able to easily add locations and sites to a network with a few clicks in the dashboard.
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While the AlphaTouch intercom hardware is easy to install, there are serious integration drawbacks when it comes to compatibility with other software and apps. AlphaTouch intercoms come with an Android operating system and built-in software. While this might be convenient for buildings that are installing a new video intercom system for the first time, it may not work for those with existing systems, as AlphaTouch intercoms are not compatible with other software.
Built on a traditional foundation, AlphaTouch intercoms can easily integrate with analog access control systems, but may not be compatible with newer property management platforms and some smart home systems. This makes integration and deployment of modern intercom technology a challenge.
Similar to the AlphaTouch intercom, Avigilon’s all-in-one video intercom is equally easy to install. The sleek device mounts with a simple snap-in mechanism. The system uses one PoE cable and standard wiring, with the flexibility to rotate the camera during install to achieve the best viewing angle. The Avigilon Alta system is built on an open API and mobile SDK, giving the intercom the ability to easily connect with other hardware, software, property and tenant management platforms, and smart home systems. Plus, the Avigilon Alta App Marketplace allows users to keep up-to-date with new integrations and discover more than 45 technology partners that Avigilon Alta can integrate with.
When it comes to the video platform, Avigilon Alta’s ONVIF Profile S and T compliant platform make it easy to integrate with video security providers, and the ACU functionality makes the system compatible with any legacy system.
When it comes to access, AlphaTouch offers options that cover just the basics. A built-in reader in some models allows access to users with key fobs. Although touchscreens are available and provide some convenience, a more advanced touchless entry system is not offered. Stations have the ability to connect to a touchscreen handset, and remote unlock is only available in some models.
With AlphaTouch, visitors can connect with tenants in multiple ways, including a direct phone call, calling through the mobile app and calls to one or more resident monitors. In terms of visitor access, the only available option is a QR code that allows guests entry for a limited time. Tenants and guests can also take advantage of the elevator control feature that grants access to a designated floor, also within a limited time frame. Two-way communication is available for audio and video, although the two-way video call is only supported through the mobile app. With this feature, tenants have the option to share their live video stream when answering calls.
Despite the convenience these access options offer, there are features in other more advanced video intercoms that are not available in AlphaTouch. For example, touchless and keyless door entry is not offered, a feature that more buildings have incorporated into their security procedures in recent years due to safety and convenience.
With Avigilon’s Video Intercom Reader Pro, there are a variety of secure access methods available, with advanced features that make access control seamless. The system supports mobile capabilities and enables users to grant access from any mobile device through an app. Unlocking process is fast, with patented Triple Unlock technology that ensures 99.9% reliability using simultaneous Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular signals. With this technology, users are granted access at all times, even when one connection is unavailable.
When it comes to visitor access, temporary passes are issued to visitors through email, text message or messaging apps like Slack. Customizable temporary Guest Passes are accessible directly from a smartphone browser, and grant one or more entries within a limited time, with all access events recorded in real-time. Like some AlphaTouch intercoms, the remote unlock feature is also available in Avigilon Alta, allowing users to unlock doors for guests from their mobile phone or the Avigilon Alta Control Center.
Another feature that has risen in popularity in the past few years is touchless entry, and Avigilon Alta’s Wave to Unlock allows users to open doors with a quick movement of the hand or phone. With safe, hands-free technology, visitors can request access without entering personal information into a public device or having to scroll through a huge directory to find the tenant they are looking to connect with.
Users who prefer physical keys can opt for high- and low-frequency key card access on Avigilon Alta systems as well. The intercom reader is also backward compatible with legacy access control systems and credentials.
AlphaTouch systems come in a wide price range, with products priced from $170 to $2000. While some might expect the lower-priced models to require additional hardware purchase and installation, the same applies for their more expensive systems. The costlier AlphaTouch cloud-based PoE model consists of door stations that are sold separately from indoor stations. Buildings with receptionists and doormen have the option to purchase an additional staff station, also priced at around $2000. In terms of software, monthly subscription is available at $2.50 per unit.
Avigilon’s all-in-one Video Intercom Reader Pro combines advanced built-in features in one single device, eliminating the need to purchase different hardware and reducing installation costs. The system comes with a doorbell, camera, intercom and reader, and the mobile credentials and backward compatibility with legacy cards reduce the fees to issue and maintain new access keys. The scalable software subscription rates are flexible and allow businesses to pay only for the active users in the system. With Avigilon Alta, visitor assistance does not come at an additional cost. The built-in voice AI and customizable call routing means there is no need to purchase a separate staff station.
There are more advanced options to choose from, like the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro, if you find that AlphaTouch is not the right solution for your multi-family residence. The Avigilon video intercom system features a doorbell, multi-tech reader, high-definition 5MP camera with 136-degree view, speaker and microphone with automotive grade code and echo reduction. The mobile experience is optimized with video calling and two-way audio, and the mobile credentials allow fast and secure access. Adding remote unlocking capabilities to the list of benefits, these technologies make the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro a convenient all-in-one access control solution for all building functionality. Plus, its cloud-based software supports unlimited scalability and integration with existing systems, property management platforms and more than 45 technology partners.
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