Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, touch-free access control has seen a huge boom in popularity. What does this really mean, and what kind of touchless solutions are available?
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Our collective consciousness of hygiene has never been higher. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed so much of our day-to-day lives, and our awareness of what we’re touching in the physical environment is just one of those things. In buildings where staff, customers, and the general public are physically present, it has never been more important to reconsider the hygiene of doors and entryways.
The risk of fomite transmission of COVID-19 (spreading of the virus via shared surfaces) is extremely low. Nevertheless, as awareness of surface hygiene has heightened over the course of the pandemic, solutions that eliminate that risk have become increasingly popular. There are a wide range of touchless security products now available which completely remove the need to make physical contact with any part of the door or doorway.
What is the benefit of touchless access control?
Imagine an office building. When an employee approaches the front door of the building, they have to take a swipe card out of their bag and present it to a reader next to the door. They then have to take hold of the door handle and use it to open the door. Inside the building, before accessing the floor where their office is, they have to type a code into a keypad. On the way out, they have to press a button to release the door lock and push the door open.
All of these processes require making contact with the physical environment. Touchless access control aims to reduce or even eliminate those touchpoints. The risk of propagating germs and viruses is greatly reduced, and people may feel more comfortable not having to touch shared surfaces.
Reduce the need of surface contact
Added building mobility and efficiency
Innovative solutions with best-in-class technology
Traditional access control systems utilize swipe cards or fobs to identify a user. There are many advantages to using mobile credentials for both the system and the user.
No need for physical contact between the user and the reader.
Reduced plastic usage thanks to the removal of physical credentials.
Better compliance – users are much less likely to lend their phone to another user.
Extra security level using the face recognition mode to unlock a door
As well as touchless security, many buildings are now implementing systems that allow them to limit the number of people in a given area. These measures make enforcing social distancing regulations much easier, as a particular room or zone is never allowed to exceed the pre-defined safe limit of people.
The ATRIUM access control panel is equipped with a built-in counter function as standard, making capacity management easy. Users simply present their credentials on the way into the area, and again on the way out. The counter keeps track of how many people have gone in and out, and when the occupancy limit is reached, the door is automatically locked until space is freed by someone leaving.
Switching from a manual door to an automatic door is the most obvious step towards achieving a touchless entryway. However the door lock is controlled and triggered, if the user has to push or pull the door to open it, the touchless benefit is negated.
Automatic door solutions, such as DIGIWAY, eliminate the need for physical contact with the door. Moreover, the added benefit of better accessibility improves the building for people with reduced mobility.
Trigger sensors are frequently combined with automatic door operators in order to create a seamless entry experience. You will most likely have come across these in supermarkets and shopping centers, where an individual only needs to enter the sensor’s field of vision in front of the door in order to trigger the door to open. Sensors can use a range of technologies, including microwaves, infrared, and lasers.