“Touchless” access control can take many forms — automatic door openers, turnstiles, biometrics, mobile credentials, and wave readers, to name just a few possibilities. But what they have in common is their growing popularity with end users in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.
When COVID-19 was just starting to emerge, rubber gloves, rubbing alcohol and Lysol wipes were in short supply everywhere. People were afraid to touch anything, lest they get the virus that way. Some even washed their groceries. Even though evidence later on demonstrated this was much more of an airborne disease, the idea of a touch-free experience didn’t go away. Flu, the common cold and many other illnesses are passed through touch, and having a sanitary and safe workplace is now a goal for many.
Here are a few of the ways “touchless” can be implemented at customer’s sites, and some of the things to keep in mind when considering them.
One of the growing trends of the past several years, pre-pandemic, was mobile credentials, due to their ease of deployment and convenience. While not technically “touchless,” they at least are touched only by their own user. They do come with some challenges that need to be discussed and hammered out in advance. Will the facility provide the phones? If it will by a BYOD (bring your own device), what rules and safety guidelines need to be in place for cybersecurity?
And of course there always needs to be a backup if the employee forgets their phone. But in this day and age, one of the upsides of mobile credentials is people are far less likely to forget that than their card credential.
Not all biometrics are touch-free, of course, but one that is has been in the news more frequently in recent years: facial recognition. While it has some potential privacy concerns, the concept is truly hands-free. During the pandemic, it also gained popularity with added intelligence to detect faces while also screening for mask wearing and in some cases fever.
Video as an access control tool is a growing trend, and can be accomplished either from the video side using analytics, or from the access control software using integration. It is even possible to use facial recognition on a smartphone, combining both mobile credentialing and biometrics.
Wave readers are exactly what they sound like: the user simply waves a hand in front of them to open a door. Frequently used in healthcare settings where medical personnel need to keep their hands sterile when going into an operating theater, for example, these solutions have recently become popular to open retail doors, bathrooms and other non-secured doors without touching anything.
But for security purposes they can also be tied to a credential, such as a mobile credential and used in conjunction with the access control reader or turnstile for a touchless security experience.
Automatic Door Openers
For the full touchless experience, add an automatic door operator, which is integrated with the reader so when the user is granted access they don’t have to touch the handle and physically open the door.
People today are more conscious of spreading germs than in the past. Installing touchless access control solutions can give end users, employees and visitors more peace of mind.