The Top Access Control Trends to Look Out For in 2021

Boon Edam Limited Blog | January 2021

2020 proved to be a challenging year for everyone and the security industry is no exception. With people encouraged to work from home and the need to limit contact where possible, 2020 was a year of great change for the industry, with businesses needing to adapt quickly to ensure security remained a priority while still keeping staff and visitors safe at the same time.

This need naturally has shown the importance of access control and 2021 looks to only continue this trend. Here, we explore what we believe will be the top access control trends to look out for in 2021 and how businesses can look to take advantage of them. 

Automatic Entrances

If people weren’t aware of the many benefits that upgrading manual entrances to automatic would bring before the emergence of Covid-19, the majority of them do now. Alongside being more energy efficient and offering better traffic control options, the biggest advantage that automatic entrances offer, particularly those that are revolving doors, is the benefit of being touchless by design.

Covid-19 has naturally fueled the need for options that limit the touching of surfaces, something that fully automatic entrances offer a solution for. As the challenges that the virus brings continue to follow us into 2021, the trend of businesses moving away from manual towards automatic is something we are likely to see become even more prevalent than it was in 2020. 

Mobile Access Control 

Of course, we’ve come a long way in terms of security when it comes to automatic entrances, with access control naturally playing a substantial role in its development. Looking forward into 2021, we expect to see this continue but with a particular focus on mobile access control.

Why is this? Well for one, mobile access control eliminates the need for businesses to rely on access credentials such as passes and keys. With many required to work from home at the moment, replacing new access credentials such as these or providing entirely new ones to new members of staff can prove troublesome. Not to mention that they are also not touchless, which increases the risk of contamination if used when the need to access the building arises.

 

Mobile access control solves both of these issues. Firstly, every member of your staff likely owns a smartphone, meaning they already have access to their means of entry. Unlike passes, mobile access control can be added to a user’s smartphone remotely, thus removing the need for setup to be done in person and reducing unnecessary contact at the same time. 

Biometric Access Control 

When you consider the fact that an estimated £1.3 billion has been lost in global biometric revenue in 2020, it’s easy to conclude that biometric access control will be the access control option of choice in 2021. However, this is dependent on the type of biometric access control being used. When we take facial recognition, for example, the outlook appears very different.

Facial recognition is, by design, touchless, making it a popular choice over access control solutions that are not. It’s also an alternative to mobile access control as a solution to removing the need for passes and keys to grant access. While everyone likely has a smartphone, facial recognition access control goes one step further by ensuring only the user themselves is required to grant access. 

  
  

The key difference between mobile and facial recognition access control is that we tend to see mobile used in more office style environments, while facial recognition is more likely to be implemented in environments that require higher levels of security, with airports being a prime example. With that said, as both continue to grow in popularity, 2021 may see this differentiation begin to merge, with less traditional businesses opting for biometric access control options like facial recognition. 

Touchless Access Control 

Touchless access control will therefore continue to be the access control solution of choice in 2021, yet what this year will also provide is continued innovation to alter products that require touch into touchless solutions.

A great example of this was our partnership with Idemia to offer the Morphowave Compact, a fingerprint scanner able to scan the user’s hand through a simple waving motion, eliminating the need for actual contact. We also saw updates to entrances that required manually pressing a button to activate, replacing them instead with a touchless alternative.

As those in the security industry continue to innovate and improve their products, we expect to see even further touchless offerings in 2021.

Multi-step Authentication

The final access control trend we expect to see is that of multi-step authentication, which is the use of two or more forms of authentication to grant user access.

Covid-19 has shown there are clear advantages to limiting access, not just to key areas of your building, but to areas that previously may not have required any access control measures at all. It’s important for many businesses now to crackdown on entry, refusing entrance without a clear reason, which is why multi-step authentication is likely to become even more prevalent in 2021. 

We expect to see this in some service-related industries but also other key areas, such as airports. While we still expect far fewer people to be travelling in 2021, airports are still high-security areas and the need to ensure only authorised individuals without any Covid-19 symptoms are admitted is now more important than ever.

Make Access Control Your Priority In 2021

With access control looking to play an even bigger role in 2021, there couldn’t be a better time to reassess your security options and upgrade. For more information, browse our full range of access control solutions, or contact a member of a team today to discuss your needs.

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