smart entrance control

Humanoids, IoT and AI: How smart technology is being integrated into entrance and access control

Managing the daily flow of often hundreds, if not thousands, of people into a physical workplace can be challenging. Processing visitors and occupants quickly and efficiently as they enter a building is vital, but security cannot be compromised in the desire to create a seamless entrance experience.

Thankfully, advanced technologies are transforming the way our workplaces operate. From humanoid receptionists to fully connected Internet of Things (IoT) building management applications, the world of workplaces is changing fast and there are many rewards for those willing to embrace innovative approaches.

In this article, Dan Drogman, CEO of Smart Spaces and Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited (IDL), join forces to explain why integrating advanced technologies into your workplace entrance systems may be easier than you think. And, we’re not just talking about new buildings: retrofit is possible in almost all cases, with the right partners by your side.

Advanced solutions for seamless experiences

“Gone are the days of fumbling around for plastic access cards or key fobs; intelligent access and entrance control systems serve as the gateway to a smarter, more connected workplace ecosystem,” says Dan Drogman, CEO of Smart Spaces.

“Smartphones, equipped with security tokens that use Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, are providing the key to a more seamless entrance experience,” adds Dan. This technology, when paired with entrance control units, such as turnstiles, is enabling individuals to access buildings without the need for traditional plastic cards; the mobile device acts as the credential to gain access.

“Facilitating mobile access in this way establishes a two-way connection with users, enabling functionalities like remote termination of access in case of loss or theft, significantly bolstering security measures,” continues Dan.

“The integration of smart technologies into workplace entrance systems represents a transformative shift in the way businesses approach workplace design and management,” says Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited (IDL).

“The role of smart technology in entrance and access control has emerged as a game-changer, enabling businesses to enhance workplace security, streamline operations, minimise costs, maximise productivity, and elevate the overall workplace experience,” says Tony.

The technology can also be used to apply strict limitations to the level and type of access granted to visitors ; for example, only allowing a two-hour window of access that expires automatically unless updated manually in the system by those with authority.

Unlocking the power of retrofit

“When it comes to upgrading your building’s approach to entrance security, retrofitting existing infrastructure is a viable option in almost all cases. This approach – over an office move or the construction of a new space – offers a feasible and cost-effective route to upgrade,” says Tony. “Working with the right partners, even much older buildings can be transformed into smart, connected spaces.”

“Don’t be afraid of retrofit projects,” concurs Dan. ” IDL is fantastic in this space; its turnstiles are very amenable to retrofit additions. And, probably the biggest benefit of IDL versus their competitive set is that their turnstiles can seamlessly integrate the best-in-class enclosed mobile reader, and the best-in-class occupancy sensor, for example.”

“Security is at the heart of entrance and access control; businesses must ensure they are taking all steps to keep their staff, visitors, and assets safe from harm,” says Tony. “Newer technologies are providing businesses with the opportunity to greatly increase the security of their building, and, with retrofit options available, there is no excuse to not explore how it may work for you.”

Data-driven workplace decisions

“Turnstiles really are a very efficient way to make sure that your building is secure while making access easy and almost effortless; it is the best balance of those two approaches,” say Dan.

“The data from turnstiles is so powerful; it gives you a true understanding of what your building’s current occupancy is, and enables you to make predictions about future occupancy levels. This, for example, can be used to determine how much food and drink to order if your building has a café, so you are catering for the right number of people and minimising waste.”

The future of concierge

humanoid receptionist

“At Smart Spaces, we believe in the concept of a digital concierge: technology that mimics the competencies of a human concierge, but with the ‘superpower’ skill to service multiple people simultaneously,” says Dan. “We see this technology in a supporting role to reception teams – helping in busy times or completing certain processes, such as signing in visitors or dealing with meeting room requests – rather than replacing front-of-house job roles.”

Click here to see humanoid Heidi, the assistant receptionist at One Park Hayes, in action.

The smart building ecosystem

At the centre of smart workplaces – including entrance and access control systems – lies a sophisticated network of IoT devices, AI algorithms, and machine learning capabilities.

“We envision a future where buildings operate as smart ecosystems, continuously adapting to the needs of occupants,” adds Dan. “By harnessing the power of technology, we can create workplaces that are not only efficient and secure, but also intuitive, providing a truly seamless experience for all.”

“The convergence of smart technologies in workplace entrance and access control systems heralds a new era of security, efficiency and connectivity,” agrees Tony. “With the right partners in tow, businesses can seamlessly upgrade their entrance control procedures, bolstering security measures while improving employee and visitor experience.”

If you’d like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch on 020 8890 5550 or


Smart Spaces is an award-winning, industry leading white-label IoT platform, providing an all-in-one solution for building management systems control and communication. It smart-enables workplaces and makes everyday work life more efficient for occupiers, employees, property owners and managers.

Designed and built to order at a manufacturing facility in Feltham, West London, and utilising state of the art engineering, IDL’s stylish range of turnstiles and door monitoring products is unrivalled in terms of breadth of choice, with solutions to meet a wide variety of needs, budgets and design ideals. Brands include Fastlane turnstilesDoor Detective, and Fastlane Connect.