VingCard Elsafe Celebrates Over Three Decades as the World Leader in Hospitality Security Solutions


DALLAS, TX – June 21, 2011 – VingCard Elsafe, the global leader in electronic locking, security and energy management solutions for the hospitality industry, is celebrating over 30 years of providing hotels and resorts with cutting edge security technology. In 1979, VingCard was founded in Norway when Tor Sørnes invented the world’s first mechanical card lockset. Since that day, the company has remained the world leader in hospitality security solutions. Today VingCard Elsafe boasts a series of firsts in locking technology breakthroughs, backed up by the largest installed base in the world and, covering more counties than any other lock provider.

VingCard was the first to recognize the hotel industry's need for more effective and efficient locking systems, meeting this need by introducing the world’s first recodable card lock in 1979. This single invention completely revolutionized hotel security and electronic locking systems. The first recodable card locks were shipped to the US and installed at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, which was at the time recorded as the tallest hotel in the world by the Guiness World Book of Records. That same year, Elsafe invented the world’s first electronic in-room safe and, in1980, completed the first safe installation at a property in the Canary Islands.

Since that time, VingCard Elsafe has continued to set the standard for hotel security solutions, raising the bar and breaking into new markets with each new generation of locking systems and electronic in-room safes. Five industry firsts were achieved in the last decade alone, starting in 2003 when Elsafe produced the first and only UL1037 -listed electronic in-room safes for hotels with the introduction of the Infinity and SENTINEL product lines. Then in 2005, VingCard created the first minimalist 2-piece lock with the modular Signature collection. These milestones in hospitality door locks and in-room safes were followed by a 2006 ZigBee naming of VISIONLINE as the first true zigbee wireless online lock system. That year, VingCard Elsafe released the first RFID lock that was Near Field Communication (NFC) compatible. That first RFID lock was far ahead of its time, and was based on VingCard’s prediction of the current evolution in locking technology and what we are seeing today as a mass deployment of NFC-compatible cell phones.

In 2010, the company also revolutionized the energy management market with Orion, the first energy management system (EMS) that is fully compatible and integrated with VISIONLINE, a wireless online lock system. In only one year, Orion has proven to be a successful solution in the United State and as well as internationally, with installations in Australia.  The combination of an EMS and wireless online locking system maximizes potential and benefits for both hotels and guests.
This year, VingCard Elsafe broke new ground again with the first installation of a remote check-in solution, based on the VISIONLINE system. Several of the world’s leading hotel chains are now adopting this remote check-in innovation, either through loyalty cards or NFC-compatible cell phones like Nordic Choice Hotels, who recently completed a successful pilot of the ASSA ABLOY Mobile Keys solution at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm in Sweden. The best part of this technology is it’s available to customers who have already installed VingCard RFID products. When a customer buys a VingCard product, they are investing in a future of technological possibilities
“Thirty-five years of leading the way in locking solutions for hotels and resorts has made VingCard Elsafe a trusted name in hospitality security,” says Tim Shea, CEO ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. “While the company has an impressive track record, what is even more awe-inspiring are the advancements in door locks, safes and energy management planned by VingCard Elsafe over the next thirty-five years.

To date, the company has been awarded more than 60 patents for their innovations in hospitality security technology. Notable inventions include the punch-hole keycard, the recodable cylinder, the anti-friction latch and the electronic card lock. VingCard Elsafe products are currently installed in over 6.5 million rooms around the world, 39,000 hotels spanning 166 countries and territories, officially making them the largest provider of hotel lock products in the world.
Although their reputation as an innovator is well known, the products and technologies themselves are only a means to an end. The real power of the VingCard Elsafe name lies in the company’s ongoing mission to provide the most efficient and reliable security and management solutions to its hotel customers around the globe.

“Our entire organization stands behind our commitment to innovation, but just as importantly, to making sure that our customers receive the best service possible” continued Shea. “Since spawning an industry over 30 years ago, we have remained the world leader, and that goes far beyond the products themselves. It is also a testament to our commitment to providing the best service and support to our customers from day one, which is the foundation of our strong relationship with our customers.”