The changing face of Fastlane – key milestones in the evolution of our product range
Our customers choose our sleek speedgates, barrier arms, optical turnstiles and discreet door security products for many reasons: the cutting-edge ‘opinion-forming’ technology, the customisation and integration options, their beautiful design and reliability, the list goes on…
But, did you know that the products our customers love and rely on today have been over 30 years in the making, with each of their unique attributes developed in response to our customers’ changing needs and the constantly evolving security landscape?
Our first turnstile products were sold to Ernst & Young in London in the mid ‘90s, but they have come a long way since then. We thought we’d share some of the key product development milestones which have led to Integrated Design Limited being recognised as a leading manufacturer of highly effective, user friendly entrance control solutions, and Fastlane products being chosen to secure some of the world’s most notable buildings.
What do Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Madonna have to do with Fastlane turnstiles?
It’s May 1985, Ronald Reagan is in the White House, Margaret Thatcher is in Downing Street and Madonna is on the cover of Time magazine and has a number one hit ‘Crazy for you’. British scientists have just discovered the hole in the ozone layer and the first mobile telephone call has recently been made in the UK. The first commercially available battery powered car, the Sinclair C5, is on sale for £399.
It is a time of great technical change in the security industry, with microprocessors being adopted in every area of detection and prevention. Increasingly, products have the ability to communicate, be controlled and ‘remember’ and with that comes opportunity to provide the technical ‘glue’ that could make them work together.
May 1985 also sees Derek Huff leave the relative comfort of employment as an engineer, take out a loan and found Integrated Design Limited (IDL).
A new, elegant approach to pedestrian entrance control
A graduate electronic engineer by qualification, Derek started his working life designing equipment for medical applications, before moving into the security industry to work for a group that created products utilising infrared detection.
In its original form, IDL was a design house, working with clients to solve specific design problems across multiple sectors. Derek’s particular interest was in computer vision and robotics; particularly designing computers that could ‘see’ and interpret this data in order to enable them to control mechanisms.
Using his knowledge of infrared technology, IDL’s Fastlane Optical turnstile was initially developed by Derek in the early 1990s, adding direction sensing with tailgate detection to an active infrared optical system. In this new approach to pedestrian entrance control in buildings, emerging proximity card reader technology and access control systems provided by third parties were used for authorisation.
Derek’s understanding of the visual impact of the products being as important as the effectiveness of the technology, meant that even early models in the Fastlane range were designed with aesthetics in mind. The early Fastlane products were manufactured using cylindrical or rectangular shape pedestals which included a distinctive stainless steel end panel shape. Additionally, they had a longer length pedestal, providing a new open feel and more aesthetically pleasing alternative to the traditional tripod entrance control systems, as well as allowing new options in lane widths to cater for disabled users.
It’s this approach to great design – coupled with leading technology – which continues to differentiate Fastlane products from those of its competitors.
The registered trademark “Fast Lane®” was granted during 1992 for marketing the product brand and, in 1998, the technology which allowed for the transparent sides of the optical enclosure was awarded a patent, this technology was applied to the Fastlane Clearstyle Optical turnstile.
Monitoring doorways – introducing non-turnstile entrance control options to the range
In 2000, the concept of the active infrared matrix used in the Fastlane Optical turnstile was applied to a new product, Door Detective ®, for which IDL was granted a patent. Designed to monitor access through doorways, Door Detective units are installed either side of a door frame to provide infrared optical monitoring of the doorway. For each authorisation, the optical system monitors for unauthorised access, wrong direction and tailgate events.
The CL and EL models were the first to be manufactured in the early 2000s and were further developed with the introduction of the Door Detective Compact and, more recently, the Door Detective Plus model, which now also includes Fastlane Connect.
Increasing demand for a physical deterrent
The market responded well to Fastlane Optical turnstiles, with strong domestic and export sales. However, we recognised that there was increasing demand for products which provided a physical deterrent, requiring a barrier similar to those used in a tripod.
In 2002, the first iteration of the innovative Fastlane® Plus was developed – the first turnstile of its type. This barrier assisted optical turnstile proved to be very popular, providing not only a robust physical deterrent but also a novel break-way arm to ensure user safety. This model had the added benefit of being able to provide 914mm lane widths for disabled users, a width previously unobtainable with a tripod turnstile.
Responding to the demand for wider lane widths
Two years later, the Fastlane® Intelligate was launched as an improvement to Passgate applications. This innovative dual glass barrier, bi-directional motorised swing gate was primarily designed to allow for an extra wide lane, up to 1.4m, providing easy but controlled passage for all people, including wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility. This product has proven particularly popular in reception areas, as it facilitates easier delivery of parcels or other oversized items which might be too large for standard sized lanes.
Door-like motion results in fast user acceptance
With any entrance control system, key to gaining fast user acceptance is making the solution as unobtrusive and simple to use as possible, whilst still delivering the required level of security. In 2005, the innovative swing barrier technology developed for the Fastlane Intelligate was applied to the Fastlane Glassgate, a new optical turnstile with a glass barrier which moved in a door-like motion. Based upon the slim pedestal enclosure of the Fastlane Plus range, this single glass barrier operated in a way which was familiar to users, resulting in fast user acceptance. Additionally, the Fastlane Glassgate included a set of 600mm wide standard lanes with a single 914mm DDA lane option, making it accessible and user-friendly for everyone.
Rebranded as the “Glassgate 200” in 2008, this entrance control solution was our original ‘Speedgate’ model and has been very popular in both domestic and export markets over the years, subsequently becoming a product category for IDL.
Fastlane Glassgate® was registered as a trademark during 2011, and recent additions of optional locking brakes and glass barrier heights of up to 1800mm ensure that the Glassgate range remains a firm favourite in our product portfolio.
Fastlane becomes an international trademark
In 2006, as well as ‘Fastlane’ being granted a trademark in the UK, Europe, USA, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia, South Korea, Kuwait, Norway and the UAE, the Glasswing model was launched, the only product in the range to feature a retracting barrier.
This attractive elliptical optical turnstile offers three pedestal widths for compact, standard and wide lanes. Available in a range of decorative top options, the Fastlane Glasswing is ideal for environments requiring a bespoke, modern aesthetic and is also a practical choice for proximity card reader, barcode and elevator display integrations.
This model has been updated with the latest Fastlane technology over the years and in 2011 Glasswing® was registered as a trademark.
Responding to the market need for higher security measures
Addressing the market need for a premium, high security, dual barrier Glassgate that could provide DDA lanes across a set of lanes, rather than the one DDA lane per set, the Fastlane Glassgate® 400 was introduced in 2009. This model included an open sided enclosure, balancing the requirement for a modern appearance with the higher security levels required, provided by the range of barrier heights. The inclusion of locking brakes further enhanced the resilience of this versatile model, which has been employed in high throughput and high security applications worldwide, in particular within the corporate, public and education sectors.
In 2009, we were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, International Trade category, for demonstrating a substantial growth in export trade over a 3 year period, expanding our network of overseas distributors and partners all over the world to Korea, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, and building upon our existing dealer bases in North America, Japan, Middle East and Europe.
Accommodating integration and customisation
Introduced as an alternative to the Glassgate 400, with a pedestal height, dual swing barrier that is supplied with a more traditional fully enclosed stainless-steel pedestal, the Fastlane Glassgate® 250 was launched in 2010. Due to the availability of additional space within the enclosure, this model has become popular for locations requiring a level of customisation or integration, for example lift destination displays, or for those requiring multiple user authorisation devices.
Introducing our most iconic model
The Fastlane Glassgate® 150 was created in 2011 as a generic, aesthetically pleasing full featured Speedgate solution for corporate security and leisure applications. With a minimalist stainless-steel enclosure and using glass as a spine panel and lower height glass swing barriers, this model was well received by the pedestrian entrance control market worldwide, and continues to be our most popular entry level solution.
Monitor and manage entrance control operation remotely
In 2013, the Fastlane Glassgate 150 was the first product in our range to use our Fastlane Connect® ethernet port with web connectivity, for the configuration and remote control of each lane connected to a PC/LAN. Now used in all Fastlane turnstiles and the Door Detective Plus, the ethernet port for each lane provides access to usage data and allows remote configuration and control. This interface is also used by the Fastlane Multilane Touchscreen Accessory, which can configure and control up to 64 lanes.
Winner of the Good Design Award
The Fastlane Glassgate® 300 model was designed in 2013 with market feedback in mind, to provide a dual swing barrier Speedgate similar to the Glassgate 150 but offering a range of barrier heights and locking brake options. The minimalist enclosure style was well received and was awarded the prestigious Good Design Award in Japan.
Optional locking brakes introduced
As part of the Glassgate 300 development programme, the Intelligate 300 was also introduced during 2013, providing locking brakes and tall glass options in addition to the latest Fastlane Connect Ethernet interface for our optically monitored passgate and Glassgate 300 products.
With the requirement for entrance control for use in higher security applications, most of the Fastlane range is now available with an optional locking brake, providing a range of security levels across all applications.
IDL celebrates its 30th anniversary
In 2015, we celebrated 30 successful years. Throughout that time, it’s been our increasing focus to develop our own intellectual property and product offering, which has in turn led to our Fastlane range being at the forefront of the entrance control market. If it makes our products better, smarter, more competitive and more successful, that’s what you will find us doing every day, no exceptions. It’s what we love and it’s what drives us to continue to create innovative new products.
The latest additions to the Fastlane range – live video streaming, real time building population data and wider lane width options to accommodate sports wheelchairs
Last year was a busy one for IDL, unveiling the latest Fastlane Connect applications – FastCam and FastCount – at IFSEC, and introducing the Fastlane Glassgate® 155, specifically designed following feedback received at IFSEC.
Based upon the very successful Glassgate 150, the Glassgate 155 was developed in response to customer requirements for the provision of up to 1200mm wide lanes to accommodate sports wheelchairs at leisure facilities. This latest model in the Glassgate range incorporates a set of lanes in a format similar to the Glassgate 150, with a higher breakaway force for the barriers and a locking brake option for the standard and DDA lane widths. The new pedestal also facilitates the integration of elevator displays and other third-party equipment.
Adding to the Fastlane Connect range of applications, FastCam and FastCount were developed to provide users of Fastlane turnstiles with the ability to view live video streaming of turnstile use and capture recorded security events, and provide real time building population data.
So, what’s next for IDL?
Following on from the introduction of the initial turnstile product in the early 90s, IDL has gone on to create a portfolio of over 40 products and introduced non-turnstile options including Door Detective and complimentary software applications such as Fastlane Connect. We’ve had our products installed in six continents, including in some of the world’s most iconic buildings including the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the Aldar HQ in Abu Dhabi and the new World Trade Centre Complex in NYC.
As technologies continue to evolve, and the security landscape is required to adapt to changing threats, so will the products created and developed by IDL. With our wealth of experience in the field, what will remain constant is our focus on unrivalled quality and our passion for further enhancing optical detection and barrier mechanism design, ensuring that Fastlane remains at the forefront of the security and entrance control market.
For more information about the Fastlane® and Door Detective® range of products and applications, or to arrange a private product demonstration at our showroom in Feltham, West London, please get in touch with our team on +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.