The Future of Access Control

October 19, 2020  Technology

By Millie Hall

Access control isn’t as scary as it sounds! It simply refers to the control of an individual’s movement in and out of a building. Access control is used to provide a level of security and regulate the passage of individuals through a location. Access control is a widely used practice in buildings and at physical events, minimising the risk of unauthorised access to a specific location. For example, train tickets are a common form of this practice as is event ticketing turnstiles. They are used to address safety requirements and operational access control while perpetuating the flow of people in and around the building or stadium. Employee identification cards are another prime example of this widely used practice. They allow businesses to monitor and restrict the movements of employees and visitors. While the cinematic universe has promised high tech, creative solutions to access control, think James Bond and pretty much any spy movie, the future of access control is a lot more simple. 

Facial Recognition and Access Control

Access control systems have changed rapidly based on the desired application. In an ever-increasingly populated world, advancements in artificial technology have allowed seamless integration of access control. Combating modern security problems needs modern solutions. Fusing facial recognition and access control provides a high-tech, contactless application to the world of security. Facial recognition controls both physical and virtual entry systems. Passport e-gates optimise the flow of travellers through airports while virtual applications include the integration of face ID to tech products. Apple launched its facial recognition access control in 2017, revolutionising the control of mobile phones. Increasing the security of an individual’s phone and providing a quicker almost instantaneous way to unlock the iPhone phone has proven a popular feature!

Applications in a COVID World

The natural evolution of access control lies in using facial recognition to provide entry for buildings and events. In a COVID world, contactless entry is necessary for the safe integration of employees back into the workplace, for commuters to minimise transmission via surfaces and for events to provide safe entry without the need for physical ticketing and wrist stamping. 

Contactless entry is particularly useful for sterile environments such as laboratories and hospitals and for extreme locations where employees have a limited ability to carry an identification card, such as mines, quarries or desert locations.  

Facial recognition is hugely secure in comparison to physical access control systems. Using biometric data enormously reduces the ability for fraudulent entry. The simplification of the access system also ensures that instances of a forgotten pin number or identification card are eradicated. It also minimizes the risk of unauthorised access to buildings through the documentation of failed access attempts, not just by a traditional timestamp but by a photo of the individual. 

Facial recognition is beneficial for hygiene, social distancing and contact tracing. If an individual is COVID-19 positive the access control can receive information on who was potentially exposed based on proximity to the infected individual. 

So what exactly is the future of access control? In the COVID world, facial recognition will be an invaluable form of secure identification, given the contactless nature of its tech.

Discover how Photofoxx can help your business with biometric access control here