The Future of Access Control in Trade Shows, Conferences and Events5 min read

The job of access control is to provide access to physical and virtual workspaces to people who are authorized to enter, and to restrict access to those who aren’t. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, it’s becoming increasingly clear that workspaces are never going to be the same as they were before COVID-19. We’ll have socially distant events that avoid the use of shared surfaces. For example, contact-based biometric access devices are projected to see their revenues slide by $2 billion this year. What kind of access control will tomorrow’s workplaces use? Let’s take a look.

Access Control Systems: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Chains, Padlocks, Pins and Key Cards

There was a time when chains and padlocks were the only form of access control at offices and workplaces. The second generation of access control consisted of key cards and pin based entry. There was a time when cards and pins were widely used at workplaces including offices, warehouses, exhibitions, hotels, healthcare facilities, retail stores and almost every other workspace that you can imagine.

Mobile Based Access

The rise of smartphones and the related Bluetooth and NFC technology ushered in the third generation of access control. Mobile based access control systems allow users to unlock doors and access workspaces by swiping their phone before the door reader device.

The adoption of mobile entry systems was slow in the beginning and by 2016, less than 5% of organizations had incorporated the use of smartphones to access their workspaces and facilities. In 2017, the research firm Gartner predicted that 20% of organizations will replace traditional physical access cards with smartphone based access by the year 2020. What the researchers might not have known was that another even more modern system was going to leapfrog mobile-only access control.

Face Recognition Access Control

In the last few years, the advancements in AI enabled computer vision technology have become the impetus for the development of the fourth generation of access control . These latest systems can recognize, authenticate and grant access to people through face recognition, mobile app, or both. The latest access control technology delivers a completely touchless, frictionless office entry experience. It is the most suitable type of access control for the post-COVID-19 workplace because it eliminates the need for common touch surfaces such as pin pads and fingerprint scanners.

Benefits of Using Face Recognition at Trade Shows, Seminars, and Events

The absence of common touch surfaces helps stop the spread of viruses and germs, but hygiene is not the only benefit of face recognition access control. Face recognition based access delivers the most convenient and worry free management experience for security teams. The system saves tons of time and headache and provides ironclad security at workspaces with a large visitor base, such as trade shows, exhibitions, seminars, and other types of events.

Easy User Enrollment

Tradeshows and events are attended by a large number of people at a short notice. It takes a lot of time to collect everyone’s credentials and print personalized key cards. With face recognition based access control systems such as Swiftlane, security teams can instantly enroll users by inviting people to snap a photo of their face using the mobile app that the touchless access control company provides. Security teams can grant or revoke access from anywhere using simple mobile and desktop interfaces.

Better Security

Face recognition prevents security risks such as unauthorized access, tailgating, and illegal entry using stole or cloned key cards. Swiftlane uses advanced computer vision algorithms to read faces in 2D and 3D, so there’s no way an unauthorized person can bypass the system. Face recognition access control also works with mobile phones, so you can implement unbreakable two-factor authentication at critical entry points, such as the areas reserved for functionaries, clients, performers, etc.

Easy to Scale

Being completely cloud managed, Swiftlane and other face recognition access control systems can be easily deployed at multiple venues and managed through a single dashboard. The security teams don’t have to spend hours granting access to authorized people, gathering access control data from different locations, and sweating about security situations. The data, including images and video, is available in real time so you’re always sure who is entering the venue.

Trade Show Surveillance

Being completely cloud managed, Swiftlane and other face recognition access control systems can be easily deployed at multiple venues and managed through a single dashboard. The security teams don’t have to spend hours granting access to authorized people, gathering access control data from different locations, and sweating about security situations. The data, including images and video, is available in real time so you’re always sure who is entering the venue.

Compliance with COVID-19 SOPs

Face recognition provides instant access just by looking at the face reading terminal. There are no cards to be swiped or pins to be entered. The entry is smooth and quick, so there’s no need to line up people or form lengthy queues. Hence, face recognition helps in maintaining social distancing and following COVID-19 SOPs at tradeshows and events. Facial recognition access control companies are also incorporating thermal scanners to detect if anyone is running a fever while entering an event, tradeshow, conference, or workplace.

Conclusion

Access control systems have come a long way from the metallic padlock and key arrangement to the completely touchless access control systems of today.  It is by no means the end of the road because face recognition presents huge opportunities for further growth and improvement. The system can be used to manage employee work hours and attendance in offices or even be integrated with CRM systems to recognize new and repeat customers walking into a retail outlet. The technology is versatile and its uses are only limited by imagination.

About the Author

Imran Anwar has 10+ years of professional writing experience about technology-related topics including digital marketing, cloud computing, SaaS, mobile apps, artificial intelligence, IoT, face recognition, and building access control systems. As a Staff Writer at Swiftlane, Imran focuses on creating useful content pieces for blogs, case studies, white papers, and user guides. An outdoor enthusiast, Imran likes to garden and spend time with his family when he isn’t writing about access control and touchless technology.