Why Gesture Access Control is the Next Big Step for Secure Buildings.

Boon Edam Limited Blog | September 2020

Gesture-based control, the idea that movement can be used as a form of input for a machine that is registered for a specific output, seems like something confined to the realms of sci-fi. In reality, we don’t have to look far to see how its continued development has led it to be incorporated across several different industries in recent years. 

The extent of how different industries have taken advantage of the technology has varied though. Whereas other forms of touchless technology, such as fingerprint biometrics, have become almost second nature in the mobile phone industry, touchless gesture control has struggled to take off. Although, some recent developments have highlighted that the technology could be seeing a new influx of interest and application, such as Google’s recent announcement to bring gesture-based control to their new Google phones. 

Across the whole market, it’s clear the industry has been steadily increasing its foothold, with the gesture recognition market projected to reach USD 32.3 billion in 2025, up from USD 9.8 billion in 2020. Where gesture-based control has really taken hold is in the consumer entertainment industry, where an increasing number of systems incorporating gesture control. This has been the case since the introduction of the Nintendo Wii back in 2006, all the way up to present day, where the rise in virtual reality headsets has put in an even bigger focus on the advantages that gesture-based control can bring to consumers. 

Security And Gesture Access Control 

It’s not just the entertainment industry though, as its applications within the security sector have seen it rise to become a viable and secure option for those looking for advanced security solutions within their buildings. In the realm of physical security, gesture access control works by gestures acting as a form of identification for users, allowing them to use an entryway through the use of a gesture - most commonly through a wave of a hand over a sensor. 

Traditionally, gesture access control was purely operated through motion sensor technology; once the sensor picked up movement, the entryway would open. While useful, the obvious security issue with traditional gesture access control is that there is no endpoint user verification in that once movement is registered, any individual could be granted access. 

In some situations, having no endpoint verification can have its benefits. In busy environments, clever use of entryways such as revolving doors and speed gates that utilise gesture access control can help better manage the flow of people in and out of specific areas of the building, while also greatly reducing the risk of tailgating and piggybacking. 

However, gesture access control where the user doesn’t need to be verified is only suitable in situations where access to the building or area is available to all. As such, they are more suited for use at the main entrances of buildings or buildings that are freely open to the public. 

User Verification In Gesture Access Control  

For key areas or entire buildings that are only accessible by staff and not the general public, gesture-based control with no endpoint verification is limited in its usage. Fortunately, there is the option to adopt a gesture access control system that does utilise the need for user verification before granting access. 

How the user is verified depends on the type of gesture access control system in use. While the majority of systems use a camera alongside the sensor to build a high-quality image of the user’s hand, newer systems can scan the hand using finger vein technology. This technology captures an image of the user’s hand veins and digitally stores it, granting access once a user match has been found.  

What are the advantages of gesture control? 

Alongside high levels of security, compared with limiting the risk of tailgating and piggybacking, one of the biggest advantages gesture access control brings to consumers is being a truly touchless technology. By its very design, gesture control gives users the ability to operate entryways without having to touch them - something that has become increasingly important as we continue to look for safer options amidst Covid-19 to limit our risk of potential infection. 

Traditionally, the market share between touch and touchless gesture control technology has been almost evenly split, with touch technology taking an ever so slightly higher percentage of the share. In light of Covid-19, and our changing needs towards ever more touchless options in our day to day lives, the split will likely become far more one-sided towards touchless gesture control in the near future. 

For more information on gesture access control and how it can be incorporated into your building’s entryways, contact us today.  


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