Covid 19 has practically become part of our daily lives. This means that as we conduct our business both personal and professional we have to modify our behavior for the new normal. While we continue working towards limiting the points of physical contact, this is where an access control system can be part of the solution. Persons no longer want to be touching public door handles, nor using the push buttons or even swiping or tapping a proximity card reader.
The current demand is that we have to have a safer way to access our homes and buildings and offices. It makes sense to consider and implement touchless technology while not compromising on security. This can be done when we look at the modern access control system. This means that we can wave or even use facial recognition for example, to gain access or restrict access as well to a location. Therefore we still have our speedy access while keeping us from contracting any germs from the system.
Every facet of our life is evolving rapidly and the future is heading towards touchless access control systems. It makes sense to do this as well such that the fears of persons transmitting the Covid-19 virus by touching the equipment is allayed. Today with technological development, wireless technology, and even Bluetooth have pushed the traditional key and locks into the back. Now with a touchless access control system, doors automatically open on the verification of credentials.
How Does It Work?
Here is the basic core of the system as we go touchless. There are four major bits which enable the functionality.
This is done wirelessly, and can take various formats. This may be in the key fob, it can be a smart device, or App or QR Codes. Additionally the credential presented can be a person’s face.
This reader is dependent on the type of credential format being used. For example, if facial recognition is the primary interaction then a facial recognition scanner interacting with a camera can enable or deny access. However if a key fob or app is being used then radio signals are involved.
A Control Panel
This is a computer and database software which gathers the information from the wireless reader. Through this software, the individual’s information is verified against what has been stored previously to ensure. This will act to verify the credentials of the person.
Door/Access Point Release
Based on the verification of the credentials received wirelessly, the software will either present or restrict access to the particular location. For example if it is a door to be opened, and the credentials received are authorized then the door opens automatically.
Here Are The Methods
Gain Access by Waving Your Hand
Rather than physically touching the card reader to access a particular point or gain entry, an employee or individual once authorized can quickly enter the site. This may be done simply by waving the hand with the touchless smart card in front of the card reader. Even though contactless, the proximity is close enough that the card reader can still verify their identity. These types of cards are also known as proximity cards. Once the identity is matched and confirmed, the card reader will allow them to gain entry by unlocking the access point. There are different types of proximity cards, either active or passive. However in either case the radio waves are used to establish a wireless connection and allow verification to occur.
Mobile Device Code
With the extensive use of mobile devices and smartphones, they can also be used to allow persons in the workplace to gain access. The specific access point can be unlocked with the smartphone as well. Consider a digital QR code, scan that code and the touchless access control system can read the encoded information. Based on this code access may be granted or denied.
Similarly a proprietary app can be used to connect with the access system. This can also provide access to the building or even a particular area. The individual may just have to open up the app on their smartphone while in proximity to the reader and access point. It is with the tap of a button on the smartphone and in the app, that the access point can also be unlocked. The mobile app may also be designed to add a security layer to leverag biometric authentication and other multi-factor authentications.
Like a fingerprint, no two faces are exactly the same. Therefore a person’s face can act as the access credential. The access control system can use the distance between a person’s eyes or the unique distinguishing marks or even the length of their nose as data points. When matched against the database, these along with other digitally stored data on the facial recognition software can be used to verify a person’s identity. This however must be handled with sensitivity. Be minded that privacy concerns may arise and the company handling the access control system must ensure that they meet the requirements of securing personal information. Granted though that this type of system is already employed in many areas.
Are There Any Benefits?
Immediately the safety of persons is one of the firths things which come to mind. If considering a company or office setting there is an audit trail of time and date of persons access the respective locations. If within a residential setting, this also means that only authorized residents can enter the premises and adds a level of comfort for tenants.
Having a touchless access control system means that the number of shared surfaces and physical touch points are significantly reduced. Therefore the spread of viruses and other germs is prevented.
Having a wireless access control system means no fumbling with keys. Additionally if any keys are lost or stolen that is also a headache of replacing those keys that are now no longer existent. If a person’s hands are full the proximity or even facial recognition can now also solve this, without dropping any of the contents. This then can also lower your cost.
Naturally, the cost will depend on the extent of the access control system being employed. It makes sense that you speak with your authorized representative, to gain a sense of what you need. This should be for both immediate and also for medium and long term planning as technology evolves.