Analysing Trends in the Biometric Access Control Industry

04 Jun Analysing Trends in the Biometric Access Control Industry

IFSEC, the annual security exhibition and conference, moves to London this year, but the move isn’t just one of a new location. In recent years the entire electronic security industry teetered on the brink of significant change. New and emerging technologies are changing the way in which systems are designed, implemented and operated. The end user is becoming more switched on to what technologies can offer and changed in communications infrastructure and processing capabilities are pushing innovation in security to ever higher levels.

Historically, those visiting IFSEC do so to view the latest product launches, but the event offers much more than that. New developments and working practices deliver enhanced opportunities, and IFSEC offers a chance to discuss the future with those who are shaping it.

Benchmark magazine have taken the time to look at developments in the access control sector in preparation for IFSEC.

A growth in Biometrics?

Biometric technology has been an element of the access control sector for decades now, but the cross-over between performance and value has happened, which has seen some growth in the sector. Dave Bulless of Allegion states, “Hand, finger, facial and iris recognition readers provide a level of security beyond that of a conventional card system by verifying the identity of a person requesting access. At the same time, they eliminate a burden and expense of maintaining a card based system.

Whether improving access control or looking at being able to monitor time and attendance, biometric technology often has the answer, so what’s the hold-up? Undoubtedly there is an underlying uncertainty about this type of technology. In 2014 and beyond I hope to see these barriers being broken down and the potential within the technology realised.

The idea of employers registering attendance through biometrics is often a subject of controversy, but attendance is noted in working environments whatever the method. Traditional methods are often open to abuse and whilst a card based system can tell you the card was used at a certain time, it can’t definitely tell you by whom.”

Karen McMahon of ievo Ltd points out that biometrics can help with a customisable solution, stating “with users stressing a need for convenience and security professionals emphasising ease of installation and functionality, we should begin to see a focus towards fully personalised serviceable systems. The opinions of what is needed often clash between users and installers, leading to a cheaper but less functional option being chosen. Of course, this approach relies on end users having knowledge of security systems, but as the industry moves forward and technologies such as biometrics become more prevalent, a customised system becomes much more attractive. ”

Additionally, many feel that the consumer market will further impact on the access control sector, as those designing and implementing access control solutions are able to further exploit new advances in mainstream technology.

Consumer thinking

Adam Stroud of Paxton states, “The security industry is becoming a sub-sector of the wider technology industry. There is competition in the mobile device market. We are well and truly in the post-PC era, and all of us access computing power in many different ways. That growth has stimulated some fierce competition between different electronics manufacturers.

Battery technology has got a lot better, camera technology has got better. There are standardised low energy low bandwidth wireless technologies that can be employed by the security industry, and access control systems specifically, which weren’t available before. These technologies have the ability to change access control as we know it.”

Summarising the thoughts of these access control professionals, as technologies for other sectors continue to offer new possibilities to the access control sector, so installers and integrators – and their customers – can benefit for solutions that offer greater flexibility, and actually deliver value-added benefits.

This article is courtesy of Benchmark Magazine.

ievo Ltd manufactures biometric fingerprint systems for access control purposes. If you want to see the ievo internal and external security systems you can view the fingerprint product range here.

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