Date icon21 December 2018

How emerging technology could revolutionise access control

These days, we’re surrounded by the kind of technology that, at one point, wouldn’t have seemed out of place in a science-fiction film. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI), modern technology is increasingly put to work to make daily tasks quicker, more automated and more convenient. The same is true of the technology that powers premises security but, where access control is concerned, it’s vital that any boost in efficiency doesn’t equate to compromised system integrity.

Technological advancements for the access control industry must combine innovation with the highest standards of security, as we explore here.


Access control microchipping

Although it’s a concept viewed by many as more than a little controversial, the future of access control could see businesses ask their employees to become their own means of security clearance – via a human microchip. A tiny microchip implanted into the hand could enable team members to enter buildings or areas of premises they need access to with just a wave of the hand, to complete cashless transactions or unlock office devices.

Microchipping could certainly get around the issue of lost key cards, and could have implications for tracking employee whereabouts and even health data, but it could be a while before the majority of employees are happy to swap using their fingerprint or ID badge for such an invasive form of access clearance. 

Artificially-intelligent security assistants

Many of us are used to asking ‘Alexa’ or ‘Google’ to play our favourite music or dim the lights, but could these devices have a role to play in the future of access control? If, as some predict, an AI-powered virtual assistant could one day take on the responsibilities of a receptionist or night manager, it could fall to these devices to carry out the automated management of connected systems, such as CCTV cameras, air conditioning and door locks, after extensive programming and testing of course.

Facial recognition and crowd mapping

Tomorrow’s security cameras may be capable of more than simply recording what is in front of them. By analysing huge datasets of human faces, AI can give cameras the ability to ‘learn’ to identify one person from another, which means CCTV cameras could eventually be programmed to automatically create an alert, or even restrict building access, if they spot someone previously flagged as suspicious.

There’s huge scope here for ID verification and improved incident reporting too. Conversely, some cameras can mask identity; turning people captured on a feed into anonymous moving dots. This not only negates the potentially problematic issue of identity tracking but allows businesses to visualise patterns in the flow of a crowd through a physical space, hugely valuable for organisations that need to keep large numbers of people moving steadily from area to area, such as airports.

Whatever the future brings, existing access control technology is already enabling organisations to achieve and maintain physical internal and external security, manage the movement of personnel and visitors, and save precious time and resources that would have previously been lost doing this manually. Our access control systems combine proven security hardware with agile, fully-integrated management software to ensure your business is exactly as accessible as you need it to be, now and in the future. Talk to us today to find out more.