Rapid developments in technology have caused the security and access control industry to change significantly. The access control market in 2022 can be described best as strong, but in flux with changing architectures, customer expectations and roles of security integrators. There are several trends in the field of access control technology that are worth noting. Cloud-based systems, mobile keys, standardized access, as well as individual adaptability are just some of the trends that are transforming the way we gain access. Let’s take a closer look.
One trend is the increasing use of cloud-based access control systems. These systems allow organizations to manage and monitor access to their facilities and resources from anywhere, using a web-based interface. This can be especially useful for organizations with multiple locations or for those that need to grant temporary access to individuals¹.
New Standards for Access Control
In the year 2023 we will also hear more about standards. With each access control company working on their own solution without any standards to abide by, this has been long overdue and the OSS Association is pushing for standardized protocols. With the OSS Standard Offline the first step was taken, now the association is working on the OSS Mobile Access Standard and presenting its first showcase in 2022. Get ready for standardized mobile access in 2023. Which leads us directly to the next trend.
From Cards to Smartphones: The Rise of Mobile Credentials
One of the biggest trends is the increasing use of mobile devices for access control. Many access control systems now offer mobile apps, such as the Tapkey App, that allow users to securely access facilities and resources using their smartphones or other mobile devices. There has been a tremendous uptick in the popularity of mobile credentials. Research firm IHS Markit has reported that mobile-based credentials are the fastest-growing access control product, with more businesses and homeowners turning to this secure and convenient option².
Though access cards still play a powerful role in the access control market, we are seeing a strong shift towards mobile access control like various companies. The use of mobile-based credentials is the logical next step for the physical security and access control industry. The fact that people are always with their smartphone helps popularise this trend. Phones aren’t just phones anymore. They play a bigger role in day-to-day life and this also includes access control. Mobile credentials can revolutionise the industry, eliminating the need to carry and wipe a card. Instead, a phone’s technology can be used to authenticate identity and grant entry. This gives greater flexibility, improves privacy, and can also lower the maintenance costs of credential management for end users. Additionally, a clear advantage is that employees are more likely to carry their smartphone with them and less likely to lose them compared to NFC transponders. With mobile access becoming more advanced and accessible, there are a number of trends emerging in the mobile key industry.
Smartphone Capabilities Migrating to Wearables
Wearable technology is quickly becoming a popular trend in the mobile access industry. Wearables are making this process even faster and easier. They seem to have opened up a section in the market which was completely non-existent. The goal of wearable technologies is to solve day-to-day human problems in real time by integrating functional, portable electronic devices into people’s daily lives. For access control, wearable devices allow you to wave your watch, wristband or other device to unlock doors, and not having to pull your phone out first.
What are wearables? Wearables are a class of smart devices that can be worn on the wrist or clipped onto clothing or carried. This includes smart jewellery, such as rings, wristbands, watches, or pins. They work with Bluetooth or Near Field Communication.
Access control will first show up in wearables and embedded in things like clothes, glasses, and rings. But what’s next? Will access control get under our skin? Well, at the moment, it sounds far-fetched. Human microchipping is way off from seeing mainstream adoption.
Individual adaptability is also an important trend in the mobile access industry. With new devices and technologies being released every day, it’s essential that devices and services can adapt to specific needs and preferences. This includes things like personalized settings, time based access as well as individual lock settings.
Access Control As a Feature
There are some other trends that will shape the future of access control. The industry will also have to face the fact that access control and lock companies are becoming an essential feature for smart building or apartment software companies and not the other way around—speaking of access control as a feature. We believe that “Access as a feature” will be a market driver in the future. End users are looking for more value beyond just safety. Access control value increases when it is integrated into other systems like visitor management or tenant experience apps. It will be an Access Control as a Feature (ACaaF) of a much larger value proposition.
“We will see access control more as a feature than a stand-alone industry”, says Lee Odess, founder of Inside Access Control, in an interview.
Companies, such as SKEPP, Geneva Ski Storage or Locaboo are already partnering with Tapkey. These systems integrated the Tapkey access technology into their system to automate access and optimise processes.
Overall, the trend in access control technology is towards more secure, convenient, and flexible solutions that can adapt to the changing needs of organizations and individuals. And as the mobile key industry continues to evolve, these trends will become even more prominent. With the increasing level of convenience and security that mobile key technology provides, it’s no wonder why it’s becoming so popular.
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