The market covered by the findings includes system design; equipment supply, installation and maintenance; and the ongoing sales of new cards and tokens where appropriate. The products included in this market are audio- and video-entry systems, keypad entry systems, card access systems, proximity systems, long-range and hands-free systems, and biometric systems. Systems may also include more than one technology for added security.

According to the analysts, the high crime level and the threat from international terrorists continue to encourage upgrading of access control systems. At the same time, some customers are choosing smart-card systems to future-proof the system, as they believe that they will add other kinds of information to the system at a later date.

Proximity technology continues to show growth but is thought to be fast approaching its peak. Competition is coming from smart cards and hands-free systems. Research and Markets’ expects the access control sector to show annual growth running at between 3% and 4% from 2004 to 2008, in terms of constant 2003 prices. Prospects for output of new building in the U.K. during the rest of 2004 and into 2005 are not favourable in the important commercial and industrial sectors, although growth is expected for public sector non-housing projects.