Access Control & COVID-19

Due to the corona pandemic, many industries are facing new challenges and have to meet the highest hygiene standards—including the access control market. The digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic and potential partners are now more open to the use of new technologies. The goal is to regulate normality and therefore the solution is to adopt.

“We will see access control more as a feature than a stand-alone industry”, says Lee Odess, founder of Inside Access Control.

What role can digital access control solutions play to enable the “new reality”? One thing remains clear: there is no universal solution. The solutions must be tailored to the respective areas of use in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. What works for gastronomy, does not automatically work for office buildings. We have looked at different solutions and summarized them for you:  

Controlled Inflow of Persons

Due to the current situation, it is necessary to have an orderly limited flow of people in supermarkets, smaller retailers, medical practices and pharmacies. Signal technology is probably the simplest method. Many access systems offer the option of controlling access via digital traffic lights. In many grocery stores, this is shown to the customer directly on a display. The company Werma, for example, regulates access to supermarkets, smaller retailers, medical practices and pharmacies with its Signalset- a radio-controlled signal light. The colors green and red clearly indicate whether access is currently possible or whether there are already too many customers inside.¹ The company Gotschlich developed a tailor-made mobile turnstile installation with a passage for shopping carts and baby buggies. Arriving people are counted individually when going in and out. In this way, compliance with the prescribed minimum distance can be ensured.

Antimicrobial Fittings and Cylinders 

Hygiene is particularly important where the handle is literally put into the hand—otherwise all kinds of germs quickly accumulate on door fittings. A permanently antibacterial coating for door fittings ensures more protection: microbes have no longer a chance to survive. DOM Security has developed antimicrobial surfaces for digital fittings and cylinders together with GBneuhaus and Inver. Silver ions are used for the coatings as it is the only chemical element that can fight mold, bacteria, and viruses. This can significantly reduce the risk of infection.² 

Contactless Alternative

Some providers have developed their systems contactless from scratch.  Openpath, an American provider of cloud-based access control, offers the option of opening doors completely contactless. A user waving his hand in front of the reader triggers the opening of the door with the smartphone via Bluetooth. This significantly reduces the spread of organisms and viruses.³ GU Automatic also offers a revolving gate drive that is equipped with appropriate sensors. Depending on the structural conditions, it can be controlled fully automatically via a radar detector or via a contactless wall switch.

Outlook Into the Future

In fact, the COVID19 crisis has highlighted the need for contactless access control solutions and spawned innovations in different areas. During the lockdown in April, for example, our software developers developed the hardware simulator for internal purposes. This is used for virtual testing of compatible Tapkey hardware. The idea behind this is that our developer team can simulate real locks without necessarily having to rely on electronic or physical locking cylinders.

The digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic, and potential partners are more open to the use of new technologies. The design options in access control are diverse thanks to advanced security technology. Hygienic access to buildings can be implemented or at least be supported in different ways.

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