3 Types of Cloud Access Control for Elevators Using Kisi

By Angela Hwang
August 15, 2018

*Note: This article is for our readers who are familiar with the basics of how Kisi works and the methods in which you can use Kisi. If you are looking for a general introduction to elevator access control systems read more here.

Elevators—Who Needs ‘Em?

Elevators are tricky beasts, especially when it comes to access control. Can restricted access control for elevators be added easily? Technically yes, but there’s a big but. It really depends on your use case so let’s jump right in and explore some options. What we’ve seen, in most cases, is that the elevator is open for one “welcome” type of floor but locked for other floors.

Use Case 1:

You want to enable restricted access of the elevator to go from the ground floor to only one floor. The other floors should be openly accessible. Can it work?

The Short Answer:

Great news, the answer is yes! This is the easiest and best kind of scenario; let me explain.

The Long Answer:

You would wire the Kisi Pro Controller to the elevator’s controller. Well, I guess the long answer wasn’t that much longer than the short answer, which is great, right?

Use Case 2:

You want to restrict the elevator to go from the ground floor to multiple floors. The access permission gives you permissions to access all floors—including the locked ones or only the unlocked floors. This means there is no differentiated access control for the locked floors—it’s locked for all and if allowed you can access all locked floors. Can it work?

The Short Answer:

Maybe—it isn’t as straightforward as use case one but the situation is definitely salvageable. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what you want. Let’s see what the options are:

The Long Answer:

  1. You want to use the Kisi Pro Reader (supports mobile phone and key card users):

If you want to use the Kisi Pro Reader, it is possible to use Kisi to go from the ground floor to different restricted floors. However (and this is going to sound silly), you’ll need to install one Kisi Pro Reader for each floor that you want to control access to. Currently you can have multiple readers for one door but you can’t have multiple door for one reader - which you’d need in this case. Your setup will look kind of silly, but it works!

  1. You don’t want to use the Kisi Pro Reader (supports only mobile phone users):

If you want to just use the Kisi App to access different floors, then it’s definitely doable! You would buy one Kisi Pro Controller for every four floors, wire them to the elevator’s controller, and voilà you have Kisi installed! This method, however, would preclude your non-smartphone users from accessing the space so proceed with caution!


Use Case 3:

You want to use the elevator to go to select locked floors (i.e. floors 1, 3, and 5) but not others (i.e. floors 2, 4, 6). Can it work?

The Short Answer:

Unfortunately, not at this time. Remember when I said earlier that elevators are tricky beasts? This is where they like to play hard to get. The basic idea is that we can’t map more than one Kisi Pro Reader to a relay slot on the Kisi Pro Controller. Until we can do that, there’s not much else we can do unfortunately.

The Long Answer:

This is an advanced requirement for elevators—typically, it involves an elevator bank with multiple elevators that need to be programmed and coordinated. Since this might be coupled with destination dispatch or other advanced programming algorithms, it is currently not possible to overlay the existing system with Kisi.


We really want everyone to enjoy Kisi to the fullest; while equipping elevators with access control isn’t ideal, don’t rule us out just because you have an elevator project. If you’re unsure, why not give one of our experts a ring and let us see how we can help? After all, you never know what solution we might come up with!

Angela Hwang

Angela is an account executive at Kisi. In her free time she likes coordinating twin outfits with her co-workers.

Useful Resources