Kisi culture

Instant security at your fingertips with the Kisi emergency button

Take a closer look at our emergency button project, which locks down an entire premise that we developed during the 2023 hack week.

3 min reading time

The Kisi product team attending the second day of hack week where they worked on the emergency button project

Updated on February 16, 2024

Written by Katalin Haverinen-Varga

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This article is the second part of our blog series shedding light on the projects that emerged from Kisi's summer hack week in 2023. Part 1 explored how we created an app that allows employees to orchestrate their entrance with their favorite theme song. In this post we will take a closer look at our emergency button project which locks down an entire premise.

The need for instant security

Schools, hospitals, public institutions, and large enterprises require enhanced security measures during emergencies. These emergencies can range from extreme weather events, such as tornadoes or hurricanes, to more immediate threats like a building intruder or an active shooting. In situations where administrators may not have the time to access their phones or navigate through a web dashboard, a physical emergency lockdown button on their desk is essential to quickly and efficiently secure the premises.

Kisi offers the ability to lock down both individual doors and entire premises, ensuring that no doors can be unlocked. To enhance user convenience, one of our teams took on the challenge during the hack week to create a physical lockdown button.

Getting hands-on

In this project, we took a standard emergency button and enhanced its capabilities by integrating a Wemos D1 Mini, a compact WiFi-enabled board well-suited for IoT applications.

Person holding a standard emergency button
A standard emergency button
Integrating the emergency button with the Wemos D1 Mini board
Integrating with the Wemos D1 Mini board

To program the board, we worked with VS Code and PlatformIO, making the process efficient and straightforward. Once the board is powered up, it initiates a WiFi hotspot, facilitating easy configuration. Users can connect to this hotspot to input the necessary information, including their Kisi API key, location details, and WiFi credentials.

Once connected to the designated WiFi network, the emergency button operates seamlessly. Pressing it triggers the Place lockdown endpoint in the Kisi API, resulting in an immediate lockdown of the premises. When the crisis is over and normal operations may resume, a simple reset of the emergency button removes the lockdown by calling the Cancel place lockdown endpoint in our API. It’s that easy–safeguarding your space is just a press away.

Ready to enhance your security with Kisi's emergency button?

Would you like to try Kisi’s physical emergency button at your organization? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out. Also, stay tuned as we’ll be exploring each of the hack week projects in more detail over the coming weeks.

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Katalin Haverinen-Varga

Product documentation writer with a passion to translate technical features into customer value.

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