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Remote Controls: A Genesis

There is a popular (though probably misquoted) saying that declares that nature – and, by extension, humanity – should either “adapt or die”. Although this axiom was probably not intended to be taken literally, it does hold a certain amount of truth when it comes to security. As technology has advanced to become more sophisticated, more futuristic, so also has crime. It’s almost as if criminals are using the very technology that we developed to keep them at bay, against us. There’s been a definite evolutionary trend in crime.

The good news is that we’re still ahead. This blog post will look at how that staple of access automation – the remote control – has evolved to combat crime and how we are still on the winning side.

Dipswitch Days

Back when the world was young, dipswitch technology ruled with an iron fist. Dipswitch-based devices were easy to use and configure and could be employed for a plethora of applications. All that the user needed to do in order to synchronise a remote with a receiver was to set the little plastic switches in the same configuration on both devices and – hey presto! – the remote was programmed.

Now, it doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to see why this system might be considered vulnerable. With the ease of setup and use came glaring security flaws which could not be ignored, and so fixed code remotes saw the light.

Fixed Codes: The Next Generation

The advent of fixed code remotes dramatically increased the security of remote control systems. There were no visible switches that a mildly determined criminal might copy – all the coding took place safely within the airwaves. For a while, it truly seemed that this was a system that crooks could not circumvent. Criminals being criminals, they eventually devised a means of “code grabbing” the transmissions and creating cloned remotes, thereby allowing them easy access into properties.

But once again, goodness prevailed and – in true comic book superhero style – a revolutionary new technology dealt the hoodlums of the world a crippling blow.

Rolling Code Technology: The Final Frontier

Many of you reading this might be using CENTSYS NOVA remotes and know them as the robust little blue and grey transmitters. What you may not know is that NOVA employs an ultra-secure encryption technology known as rolling code, or Keeloq™ encryption. This means that the code transmitted by the remote is always different to the previous one, with a possible 16 billion combinations. In addition to this, it also passes through a sophisticated encryption engine which makes code-grabbing impossible.

So, dear citizens, rest easy knowing that – while we may not wear masks and capes like traditional superheroes – we’re still looking out for you.

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