The Future of Access Control

28/08/2019 in Security

Why is access control important?

Access control is a crucial part of an effective security system. Many construction security organisations continually research and develop new technologies to build a more sophisticated and secure access control system. The goal is to make the access control process as streamlined and convenient as possible for the authorised individuals, without compromising security aimed at preventing intruders and thieves.

Access control is typically associated with an authorised individual entering a site using a keypad password or badge. Although at first glance it appears that the access control technology industry has not innovated as much – compared to the other security technology solutions –  many do not realise that over the recent years, there have been a growing number of technological advances applied in the field.

Integrating and using biometrics in access control has become one of the main innovations in the industry. Another recent development includes using human microchipping to store data and simple access codes. Read on to discover how these innovations are an integral part of the future of access control.

Biometric access control

The introduction of biometric readers is specifically designed to improve security solutions and processes. It has become increasingly popular in environments where carrying a badge or fob is impractical. More importantly, biometric readers are more resistant to fraud, as it is more difficult to gain access and harder to counterfeit.

We discuss below the different control types used for biometric access:

Fingerprint Access

Using an individual’s fingerprint as a means of control for access is a more secure means for authorisation of identity. This technology works by having a database of the authorised personnel’s fingerprints scanned into a centralised system, the manager of the security system can then customise the system to allow specific individuals in certain sections of the site, or full access to the site. The most favourable trait of using fingerprints as an access variable is that it cannot be duplicated as everyone has a unique fingerprint.

Fingerprint recognition is by far the most common type of biometric technology. The set-up costs of fingerprint access are relatively cheaper and more straightforward compared to the other biometric counterparts.

Face Recognition

Using face recognition for access control makes the process easier, to an already relatively easy system. It already has the same benefits of being reliable and easy to use as much as fingerprint access. The system works by capturing the facial details of an individual, mapping out the unique features using an advanced algorithm and storing the data in a centralised system.

Facial recognition is growing in popularity, especially in situations where the environment can affect the condition of the user’s hands or they wear gloves, such as in the construction industry. Although facial recognition access control is not as popular as fingerprint access, the AI used in the facial scanner systems is likely to keep growing and improving, which means that someday that trend will change and there will be a preference for facial scanners.

Eyes – Iris Recognition

Iris recognition is much more accurate compared to traditional swipe cards, but also less intrusive than the other biometric types. This type of access control uses the coloured part of the eye (iris) as the identifier for each individual. Everyone has a completely unique iris, and the access system works by photographing an individual’s eyes using invisible infrared and in natural light. This is then stored in a database and analysed by a computer. The computer identifies around 240 unique features (about five times more “points of comparison” compared to a fingerprint system). Once enrolled, the authorised individual simply needs to stand in front of the iris scanner to be positively identified.


Human microchipping has already become a viable option for organisations to utilise in their access control plans. They have recently become a commercially available option for a more advanced and secure form of access control. Having a microchip embedded in your skin, not only allows you to open doors with just a wave of your hand but future innovation plans – to store data in the microchip – enables the development of other uses for the microchip.

The Future

Future trends in the access control industry show that biometric scanners will become more widely adopted as they continue to become a more viable and affordable option. Although microchipping has also shown some traction, the invasive nature of human microchipping may be a setback.

The constant innovation, as well as the continuous development of other technologies, will ensure that access control stays optimised as it is one of the most fundamental parts of a security plan. The future of access control relies on providing the best solutions in identity management and the future of access control has many more possible implications for the construction security industry.