Although the access control market has been a bit slower to evolve than the video surveillance industry, today the former is getting its moment in the spotlight. Access control technologies are experiencing a rapid period of innovation, which is benefiting value-added resellers (VARs) and customers alike.
With so much access control news making the rounds, we wanted to highlight some of the top trends that are gaining momentum within the industry. Here we count down some of the key developments that access control specialists should be aware of:
An increased focus on convenience
Other than ensuring a high level of security, one of the main goals of any access control manufacturer today is to maximize convenience. Arguably, the most intriguing approach is the use of Bluetooth Smart short-range connectivity technology, which is helping turn end users’ mobile devices into access control credentials.
When combined with gesture-recognition technology, the Bluetooth systems enable end users to gain access to a door or gate from a short distance, simply by rotating their smartphones as they approach. The special mobile-enabled reader allows for quick and easy access, using a device that most people carry with them all day. This eliminates the need for a key card; however, many customers may opt to implement two-factor authentication at these locations to prevent unauthorized access using a stolen device.
Advanced identity management
As access control systems become increasingly complex, customers are now able to allow multiple devices to house multiple ID numbers for a range of uses.
For example, a corporate employee might be able to gain access to his or her building and relevant departments using his or her mobile device; however, it does not grant him or her access to high-security areas. And because his or her employer has linked its access control and payment management systems, the employee can use his or her device to automatically pay for lunch in the corporate cafeteria.
This type of advanced identity management seamlessly keeps track of individual users to help streamline their experience. As a result, their day-to-day use of access control, and other systems, is simple and unobtrusive.
Greater innovation thanks to open standards
Open standards have all but overtaken the access control industry, and with exciting results. Today, customers are well positioned to leave behind the proprietary systems of the past and embrace open-architecture technology that is much more flexible and adaptable—and even provides a higher level of security. Meanwhile, manufacturers and VARs are now freed up to innovate more, which leads to a more effective, more efficient end product for the customer.
Related: 5 Tips to Help Access Control Specialists Find Their Niche
Increased adoption of managed access control
As in many other technology arenas, software-based access control is gaining traction, especially among customers with older legacy technology. Managed access control is enabling these clients to benefit from more advanced features without significant investment. For VARs, managed access control provides a strong recurring revenue opportunity, making it a win-win proposition for many applications.
More contribution to business operations
An increasing number of VARs are integrating access control technologies into other building systems, such as HVAC, video surveillance, and sound and lighting control. For many customers, this increased integration is providing a more streamlined approach to business operations that helps save time and, in some cases, money.
What access control trends have you observed in your own market?