Man looking through window with turnstiles

The trends impacting entrance control

Back in 2006, integrating lift destination displays into our turnstiles was deemed cutting-edge. Now, this seamless integration is a pretty standard request from our clients operating in corporate environments. Our latest integration allows authorised users entry without touching anything, they simply need their own biometric credentials. We’ll look at this in greater detail a bit later.

Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and we always strive to be at the forefront of developments.

We do this by keeping a close eye on the trade press, we attend shows all around the world to see the latest products in action first hand, we monitor the social media accounts of industry influencers and are members of various industry organisations. Films can also be a surprising source of inspiration. Keep reading to learn about recent trends and innovations impacting the entrance control market now…

Can films predict the future of security?

If you think about some of the films or TV shows you’ve watched over the years, a surprising number have been accurate in their representations of the future, especially when it comes to security technology.

Full-body scanning

In 1990 Total Recall hit screens. In this action-packed sci-fi, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character walks through a full-body scanner which alerts security personnel to his concealed weapon. At the time, full-body scanning was a revolutionary concept. Now, this is nothing new and anyone who has travelled through an airport is familiar with this technology and accepts that it is part of the experience of travelling by air.

We’ve taken this a step further by integrating our turnstiles with Garrett metal detectors, so not only are users scanned to detect weapons, if something is picked up the turnstile barriers physically deny the user entry. You can read more about this integration here, and find out how we applied it in a school environment.

Wearable technology

Man holding phone as key

Back to the Future 2 is another good example of a film predicting advances in technology, this time the proliferation of wearable technology.

People carry their phones everywhere with them, which makes them a familiar and convenient access control method for regular employees as well as occasional visitors. The aim of a successful entrance control system is for it to be frictionless, to offer little or no resistance to the task in hand whilst simultaneously delivering the required level of security.

Now that smartphone functions are available in watches, these can be used in access control systems for even simpler identity management, signalling to the turnstile who is an authorised user and granting access.

Could microchips replace proximity cards?

Developing this concept further, in this article Source Security recently questioned whether microchip implants could replace plastic cards in modern access control.

This idea of implanting a microchip device into a user’s hand, in place of using a proximity card, is currently being considered by some corporate users in Sweden and the United Kingdom. For us, this is an example of technology going a step too far, and it is too controversial a topic to cover in depth in this article.

The accuracy of biometrics is improving at such a rapid rate that asking your employees to inject a microchip into their hand to validate their identity is just not necessary – their own existing biometric credentials will do that job.

The improving accuracy of biometrics

As previously mentioned, the aim of any entrance control system is to allow authorised users to go about their daily lives freely and with confidence. Freely means not interfering with them unnecessarily – not asking them to remove jackets, empty pockets etc. With confidence means that they can enter their place of work in the morning and feel safe, without worrying about a hostile individual gaining unauthorised access.

We can achieve this by using the most advanced technology, and by fusing different technologies with our turnstiles to provide an integrated system which allows multiple checks to be made simultaneously in a way which doesn’t inconvenience the user.

Early biometric readers were a little clunky and on occasion could cause inconvenience to the user. However, biometric technology has come such a long way that we’re seeing more and more examples of it being used – airports are just one example.

With the introduction of ePassports came eGates. These biometric passports include a chip, which can be used at the automated eGate instead of having your passport checked by a Border Force officer, which allows you to move faster through border control. Automated border control systems (ABC) feature self-service barriers which use the biometric data stored in the chip to verify a user’s identity.

biometrics

The biometric technology in these kinds of applications has developed far enough that these sorts of systems are a viable and indeed more efficient alternative to traditional access control methods. We are even starting to see trials at border control points which require no travel documentation whatsoever, and instead solely rely on the biometric data of the traveller.

Our latest product integration is the Fastlane Glassgate 400 with the MorphoWave™ Compact, the most recent addition to the biometric access control range by IDEMIA. This new touchless 3D fingerprint reader allows authorised users to gain access with a simple wave of the hand, providing the latest in frictionless entrance control. Fusing these technologies results in little or no dwell time for users, with no need for them to touch anything to gain access.

Cloud solutions continue to increase in popularity

Fastlane Connect, our web-based portal which offers a fast and secure way to monitor and manage entrance control operation remotely from any location globally, has been around for many years. We’ve seen an increase in uptake of this tool as people have become more comfortable with cloud-based technology.

Ensuring that users aren’t inconvenienced by entrance controls, it is important to continually monitor their efficiency, this is achieved in a cost-effective and reliable way with Fastlane Connect. Features such a remote access and being able to perform maintenance without physically being onsite will become more and more important to building owners and managers, who want as little downtime as possible.

We currently offer a service where customers can connect their turnstile installations to a network, whether that be their existing LAN or WAN network, or a private one just for the turnstiles. The benefits of doing so include the ability to remotely control and monitor their lanes of turnstiles via any Windows computer logged into the same network. Additionally, there is an option to register the turnstiles at the time of installation which adds a second year of warranty.

With the user’s permission, this then allows our technical team to connect to the turnstiles remotely to offer a diagnostic service and, where required, apply firmware updates to the units. We have seen uptake of this function double in recent years proving the increasing value of such features.

We do understand, however, that allowing remote access to elements of one’s facility to an external organisation is a sensitive topic. It is important to note that we are not able to access any turnstiles without client consent. All of our products are individually configurable with a login and password for security reasons. If the client wants to give us permission to access units, they need to forward their IP address to IDL and provide login details for us to be able to connect remotely.

Evolution of the corporate security manager’s role

Security guard with sunglasses standing at top of stairs with

The role of the corporate security manager has had to change and adapt in order to incorporate a wider range of responsibilities due to the rapid rise of IoT (Internet of Things). Enabling the connectivity of devices to online services has brought new risks such as cyber-attacks which have become a much more relevant threat. The role has become broader, now involving greater collaboration with the IT department in a way which was previously not a necessity.

For turnstiles, this means products need to be designed to allow integrations with building management systems, as well as other security devices and systems. Our turnstiles are capable of integrating with all known access control and building management systems, and our technical team is adept at working with our installation partners to make this process as seamless as possible.

Turnstiles now provide much more than just a means to physically prevent access. When connected to access control and building management systems they can improve overall building operations and deliver efficiencies. There is potential for the units to integrate with a suitable BMS system to control lighting and heating, registering the arrival of users for a meeting and directing them to their meeting location, automatically activating air conditioning and lighting in the required areas.

Ease of use, simple management, minimal maintenance and added value seem to be the driving forces behind many of the trends currently impacting entrance control. It’s why our technical team places such emphasis on the usability of our turnstiles, and why we’re always looking for new third-party partners to investigate product integration opportunities.

If you’d like to speak to our team about your entrance control requirements, or you have a product you’d like us to integrate into our turnstiles, please get in touch with our team on +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email info@fastlane-turnstiles.com.