Date icon28 January 2021

Global operations have dramatically changed following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The knock-on impact to industries worldwide as a result of the pandemic cannot be disputed. Like other business sectors, the security industry has needed to react, adapt and adopt existing and emerging technologies to meet the demands that COVID-19 presented.    

With the events of 2020 undoubtedly shaping security over the next 12 months, we explore the top three technological trends and developments that could be in store for access control in 2021.

Going mobile

COVID-19 has significantly altered access control and its perception and practice. This is reflected in the shift towards mobile based access control systems.

However, 2019 survey data conducted by HID estimated that 54 percent of businesses had decided to upgrade or would consider a mobile system upgrade in the next three years. This shift has been facilitated by the sudden and unprecedented events of the pandemic, which acted as a catalyst for more businesses to go mobile.  

With a heightened and continued emphasis on safety, hygiene, and sanitation, it is no surprise that the pandemic has resulted in an increased desire for mobile control systems across business sectors.

The increase in mobile based credentials is not surprising, not only because there are over three billion smartphone users worldwide, mobile phones are carried everywhere and are less likely to be forgotten or misplaced unlike keycards.

With the consistent rise in safety and hygiene concerns resulting from COVID-19 comes the inevitable increase in mobile control systems, and this is a trend we predict is to stay during 2021 and possibly beyond in some guise.

Biometric access  

As we know, our physical characteristics are the most unique and impenetrable form of identity verification that exists. This is where biometric access technology is invaluable.

What was once perceived as a costly investment is now being looked upon by many businesses as a highly essential, viable access control technology to adopt. Thanks to reduced prices, improvements in quality and privacy concerns no longer being at the forefront, it is predicted that the popularity of biometric access control is only set to increase in 2021 and the future.

Many industries are looking to explore facial recognition reader technology for building access and time capture. Facial recognition biometric readers will therefore provide a modern and touchless access method – vital in the immediate post-pandemic world. Safe use of other reader technology is likely to remain but with tighter control.

Alongside facial recognition, other biometric technology set to rise in popularity this year include:

  • Iris
  • Touchless Palm
  • Fingerprints
  • Voice
  • Vein pattern

Discover more about this technology in: Biometric access control systems: An overview.

Cloud-based model

Think of the cloud and email, sales CRMs, website hosting and productivity tools are likely to come to mind. However, it is not just the above array of company systems that can run in the cloud, physical security is also able to utilize many of the benefits of a cloud-based infrastructure.

The benefits of security using cloud-based tools for access control are vast and include:

  • Low startup costs (Downloadable software and updates)
  • Scalability
  • Operational improvements
  • More robust security
  • Easy multi-site management

The adoption of cloud-based tools is set to become an ever-emerging trend in 2021 due to the ability to manage multiple sites under a single system. It removes the previous requirements for manual multiple notification in advance from employees looking to visit and work in a different branch office.

The scalability, flexible and ability to manage large enterprises or global infrastructures without compromising on security makes a cloud enabled security access model one to watch for 2021.

Transform your organisation in 2021

If you like the sound of our 2021 access control trends, why not transform your organisation’s security today with TouchStar?

Our dedicated team is proud to deliver the very best in robust, cutting-edge technology that transforms operations across numerous industries.

Get in touch today and see how we can transform your organisation in 2021 and beyond.    



Lynden joined Touchstar ATC (formally Feedback Data) in a sales role for Access Control in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Lynden held both Production and Account Manager roles, gaining wide technical and commercial experience within the electronics market.  

In 2013 Lynden was promoted to Sales Director and in 2017 he took overall responsibility of the business as Managing Director.As well as running Touchstar ATC, Lynden still remains extremely active in the sales and key account management aspects of the business. When not involved in the business, Lynden is a keen performance car enthusiast.