In response to the COVID pandemic many building owners, property managers & business leaders have been asking for ideas to mitigate the spread of germs through “Touchless & Frictionless Door Access Control”. Naturally, numerous manufacturers in this space have increased their marketing efforts to address these needs. There is a myriad of products that can be employed to aid in this effort, I hope to bring you some clarity in this writing.
Protecting our Entrances
Over the last two decades we have seen a significant increase in business entities locking down their exterior doors, using card access control for their staff along with intercoms for processing visitors and vendors. Building owners, property managers and business leaders driven by their desire to prevent ever increasing potential threats in the form of active shooters, workplace violence, stalking, theft and robbery have made the investments in security systems to assure that their staff remain safe. Predicated on the belief that if your most valuable assets (your team) do not feel safe within their work environment, productivity suffers and turnover is inevitable. Now we are experiencing an invisible threat in the form of contagious viruses that could negatively impact the wellbeing of your staff and has already had a devastating effect on business continuity.
Solutions to Consider for Touchless Access
Bluetooth Enabled Card Readers
Recent advancements in card readers lend themselves to this application in the form of Bluetooth enabled mobile
smartphone credentials. Utilizing an app on your iOS/Android smartphone will allow you to gain access to specific doors from up to six feet away from a compatible card reader. The data exchanged between the smartphone and the card reader is encrypted and functions essentially like using your regular access badge. This facilitates unimpeded ingress preventing crowding at the card reader.
Photos courtesy of HID Global
Long-Range Card Readers
This technology allows the card holder to read at greater distances than the standard 3” range of most conventional card readers. In many cases, these Long-Range readers can replace your existing reader’s footprint and allow up to a 6’ read range from a compatible card. Cards can be ordered to support this long-range capability and allow continued use with your existing legacy card readers. This technology offers your card holders the most rapid throughput and does not require the card to be deliberately presented, the card can remain in a purse or pocket.
Nedap uPass Access Reader
Low Energy Automatic Door Operators
When used in conjunction with a card access control reader, this operator will quickly and efficiently open the door without the need for touch. We have seen this application in ADA assisted openings and its adoption certainly makes sense in facilitating touchless/frictionless access for normal use. These operators do pose some security risks as the door will come to a full 90 degree open before the close cycle begins, which could allow tailgating by an unwanted visitor. There are additional devices in the form of tailgate detection that can be applied to identify this type of incursion. These operators also lend themselves for restroom door use in keeping with the touchless initiative. They can be activated by the installation of “hand wave” sensors.
Photos courtesy of Assa Abloy
Controlled Automatic Revolving Doors
Although this is an expensive proposition it should be considered based upon the volume of throughput and security concerns for your organization. These revolving doors are fully automated and require no physical input other than the presentation of a credential to a card reader, if so equipped. Many of these solutions have integrated security features such as 2- person detection which can create alerts and prevent entry. A non-security related benefit is the energy efficiency savings realized by reducing the overall building’s HVAC loads delivering a favorable ROI. Please consider that the addition or conversion of a swing door as an ADA entrance alternative may be required by the local authority.
Photo courtesy of Boon Edam
As a self-confessed germaphobe the idea of touchless frictionless access is very appealing, when you consider the loss of productivity due to common colds or annual influenzas. The key to maintaining business continuity and making it through any future pandemic is the implementation of “health-conscious” technologies which may seem draconian but these measures could preserve your ability to keep your business open and your people protected.
As these technologies evolve and software is written to maximize their capabilities, this vertical focus from the security industry will popularize rapidly. S3 Integration is committed to offering tried and true solutions, custom tailored for your unique business security needs and health initiatives.
For more information on Touchless/Frictionless access control and its application in your business please