Scott Myles, ICS Group.

While it’s too early to make a definitive call on the future of some security technologies, it appears COVID-19 is beginning to drive a trend towards ‘zero touch’ access control.

But even at this early stage it appears some technologies are going to become increasingly common, including face recognition access control, arm door openers, foot door release mechanisms and automatic door openers of all shapes and sizes. These technologies aren’t just going to be limited to external doors – we may see them installed throughout facilities.

According to ICS Group’s Scott Myles, the trend is clear.

“Due to the Coronavirus, our clients goals have changed to not only the protection of assets, but to the protection of people, as shared buildings and public places have now become high-risk environments for the spread of diseases such as Covid-19, and as electronic security designers we soon realised that we needed to have a fresh look at the way we designed our solutions,” he explains.

“In meeting our client’s expectations, our design strategies are now centred around zero touch. “We believe that technology will play a vital role in meeting this challenge and solving these issues and our zero touch design strategy is to allow our clients to navigate and access their place of work (work bubble), without the need to touch doors, readers, intercoms lift call buttons, while still maintaining the same level of secure control.”

What does zero touch mean in terms of hardware? According to Myles, having zero touch front and centre in the design process has seen the inclusion of technology such as electromechanical hydraulic door operators that automatically open and close doors when activated, removing any human intervention.

“The devices are suitable for almost all types of internal or external swing doors and the process is simple, access is granted via long range card readers, and egress depending on the access level can be the same or via a touch free request to exit button,” he says.

According to Myles, another area of zero touch complexity is meeting the client’s vertical transport requirements.

“This is because the traditional means of access via lift call buttons or via destination lift touch screens controllers requires a direct level of human intervention, either in the lift car itself, or in the lift foyer,” Myles explains.

“This is where zero touch can play a role through integration of access control with destination lift controllers, to allow the user’s credentials to select the required level through the use of long range card readers positioned in the lift foyer, instead of manually operated panels or touch screens.

“This may be difficult for existing sites and depends on the current lift infrastructure, however, with new sites and up-grades, based on customer demands we believe zero touch operation will become commonplace in access control applications.”

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