As people move away from using physical touch in public places, mobile credentials are being considered for building control and security.
As integration companies battle through a COVID-19-depleted market, there is much uncertainty about what the future of the integration industry holds. One feeling, however, has been consistent throughout NSCA’s countless conversations with integration firm leaders: Even when the integration market enters its reboot and recovery phase, the “new normal,” as it’s often called, will be different. Integration firm leaders must prepare to lead a different type of company under different work circumstances and address their customers’ changing needs.
NSCA’s “Future of the Integration Business” series offers insight from NSCA members and industry professionals to shed light on what the future holds. Find the continually updated series here.
Mobile credentials have been in use for years—especially in hospitality environments as organizations like Hilton and Marriott deploy apps that let you check in, request extra towels, chat with hotel staff, place orders for room service, and even access your room, fitness centers, and pool areas using nothing more than your personal smartphone.
This same concept is carrying over into the corporate world amid COVID-19—primarily when it comes to security. Before the pandemic, many organizations’ employees were using keypads, physical keys, or keycards/readers to gain access to their office space. (Even if access control readers were touchless, many people end up brushing against them in an effort to get cards close enough to the reader.) These approaches inevitably require some level of physical interaction with a device that many other people also touch each day.
By using smartphones instead of keycards, keypads, or keys to deploy a mobile credentialing solution, apps are installed on users’ devices. As they approach a Bluetooth reader (mounted close to a door), the user taps a button within the app and the reader “reads” credentials on that phone to determine whether to let that person in. If getting to your space requires multiple reader interactions, systems can learn to anticipate the sequence and respond accordingly. Depending on the technology, doors can also be set to automatically open after granting access to further reduce the need to touch anything.
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Mobile access control also supports remote unlocking and key management for visitors, contractors, cleaning crews, or deliveries who need to enter the building on occasion. This allows organizations to keep entrances locked to minimize foot traffic—but still quickly and easily grant access to those who are approved to enter but may not have a phone with proper credentials.
Lastly, this technology can help with contact tracing. With mobile credentialing, clients will have a real-time, always-up-to-date record of who entered their building and when; this allows them to identify who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if someone in the building tests positive.
How do you expect access control to change for integrators and their customers? Email NSCA Director of Industry Outreach Tom LeBlanc at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.