Touch-Free Access Control for Healthier Workplaces in 2021
Most access control at commercial and industrial locations require touch-interaction at some level from the end user, whether that be holding a card or ID badge to a reader to scan a credential for entry, keying in a code with a finger, and then once access is granted using a hand to open a door if the door is not automatic. But, with COVID-19 using touch for operating anything has become an issue of great magnitude given transmission rates and longevity of the virus on surfaces. Unless the mechanisms are wiped down by someone with anti-viral chemicals after each user, having a touch-dependent access control system when organizations and locations need to stay healthier than ever before, is now a big issue.
In addition to gaining doorway access, other commonly used access control managed areas also rely on touch-dependent systems. For instance, parking management systems often need touch-interaction for swipes, pushing buttons, and using card readers. Elevators require pressing a button both to call the elevator and to choose a floor destination. And, other things many give no thought to such as light switches and office kitchen items like coffee and vending machines require touch.
Thankfully, touch-free, or frictionless, access control systems are available right now and can be easily integrated into many current systems without a major, and expensive, system overhaul.
THE FRICTIONLESS ACCESS CONTROL SOLUTION
Frictionless, or touch-free, access control systems help eliminate human contact with high-volume touch-dependent surfaces through multiple types of technologies such as Bluetooth, passive infrared sensors (PIR), motion sensors, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Today, the main ways that an integrator can quickly and easily convert your access control system into a frictionless and touch-free system are:
License plate recognition cameras and software (ANPR) for parking lots and garages
Elevator control through foot-operated buttons, QR code scanning, and mobile applications
Facial recognition readers
Touchless request-to-exit buttons, or wave-to-enter
License Plate Recognition
License plate recognition cameras and software, formally known as an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (APNR) System, is a terrific solution so frictionless access control and enhanced security in parking lots and parking garages.
APNR access control systems for parking lots and garages work by the following sequence of steps:
APNR cameras point at entry and exit points
Information and pictures of the vehicles are automatically sent to APNR software which then finds the vehicle registration number and builds a database
The APNR server determines what breach of terms and conditions occurred. If no breach has occurred the information is used for statistical reporting
If a breach of terms and conditions has occurred with respect to a particular license plate number, it can be manually verified by the garage or parking attendant
The gate will open for authorized vehicles and remain closed for unauthorized vehicles unless overridden by the attendant
Your touch-free visitor management system is going to be the most dominant solution of your location, which controls access to anyone wanting to physically enter the building. Utilizing smart phones for credentialing via apps is the most convenient pathway to frictionless access control.
To first gain access, a video intercom system on entry doors allows for communication with building reception and security, and combined with a touchless rex, such as wave-to-enter technology, once access is granted and doors unlocked the visitor can wave-to-enter at the designated wall panel for the door to open automatically without need for using a door handle.
Once a visitor reaches the reception area and is checked in, a visitor pass can be granted using the visitor's smart phone via an app, such as Open Path, to grant access and open specific doors touch-free by waving their smart phone or hand in front of credentialing panels, which then trigger doors to automatically open. Time limits for access are also set via the app so that once the designated time runs out the visitor can no longer gain access without the assistance of building management, security, or reception.
Operating an elevator without having to touch buttons? Yes, it is possible and currently available technology, though it may take a little getting used to. Here's how:
Foot pedal in the lobby, inside the elevator, and at each floor
Key fob scanning where the fob is programmed to only gain access to a certain floor
QR codes scanned via phone
Touchless Door Control
No longer is it necessary to touch a door handle with today's access control technology! Doors can open all by themselves with activation that requires zero physical contact with the door or the entry activation point. How?
1. Wave-to-enter panels, or other Touchless REX, that simply require a hand to wave in front of it and the door will be triggered to open.
2. Bluetooth card readers. Utilizing an app, the user's Bluetooth enabled smart phone can receive building credentials and send credentials back to the building access control. These readers may also support RFID card technologies.
3. Biometric readers that do not require touch, such as facial recognition.
4. PIR sensors. These are already commonly deployed in places such as malls and airports, which are sensors generally above the door that detect movement within a designated area and trigger the door to open.
A Suite of Solutions Gets the Best Outcome
While it is impossible to make an entire building or location touch-free, the technologies introduced here, especially when used as an integrated suite of solutions, can go a long way to making a space less dependent on touch and, therefore, eliminate pathways for the spread germs, viruses, and pathogens on commonly used surfaces. A little can go a long way with a highly qualified, licensed, and reputable security integrator such as GenX Security Solutions!
Contact Spencer Mehr, Director of Sales, to have a more in-depth conversation about making your location less touch-dependent with these technologies and a plan of action you can assess and make the right decisions regarding moving forward.
Spencer can be reached at (866) 598-4369 or email@example.com.
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