Electronic Access-Control System Trends

Security is a high priority for most organizations. The security needs of businesses, school campuses, hospitals, and other types of facilities are ever-shifting and presently intense. Electronic access control systems (EACS) are considerably affected by this market frenzy.

Installed onsite to help protect people, facilities, assets, and intellectual property from theft and threats, an EACS may be powered by a traditional electrical circuit or by Power-over-Ethernet (PoE).  

There are currently five major trends in EACS. 

What is an EACS?

Being buzzed into a controlled area or room is a common experience for most people. This happens because of an electronic control system. An EACS restricts entrance to a room, building, or property to authorized personnel only. The buzzing sound, heard after a face recognition system detects an authorized face or by entering the correct credentials into a keypad, is produced by an alternating current emitting from the power source. This signals the lock to vibrate, thus opening the door.

How does an EACS work? 

In an EACS, devices such as electric locks, touchpads, access control cards, and readers are used to limit access. Readers are located outside doors and are the only visible part of the system. Someone wanting access will enter a numeric code into the keypad, swipe a magnetic card through a card reader, or present a fob to the reader. Credentials are then transferred to a data control unit or panel.

The controller validates the information on the card, fob, or numerical entry based on data formatting, programmed reader location, time, and whether the user has permission to access the location at that particular time of day. When the controller processes this information, access is either granted or denied and data is sent back to the reader. 

A record of the transaction is then logged into the host system for future audits and review.   

Five EACS Trends  

Rapidly changing security needs demand that organizations continually strategize to meet them. This has led to a number of EACS trends in the security industry. 

Wi-Fi Locks and AI

Wi-Fi locks tap directly into a building’s Wi-Fi network infrastructure. This eliminates the need for a wireless hub and locks access to the control system software.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can leverage existing infrastructure without sacrificing physical security or cybersecurity. This new technology makes automated and touchless access more cost-effective and convenient. 

Panic-Style Door Hardware

In the event of an emergency, panic hardware (also referred to as an exit device) provides fast and easy egress for building occupants. Panic-style locking hardware includes PoE-powered devices, including a reader, a request-to-exit sensor, and a door position sensor.  

Touchless Everything

Employees and residents of hospitals, healthcare facilities, and senior or independent living environments have long been interested in controlling the transmission of viruses and germs. The recent pandemic has introduced this hygiene phenomenon to the rest of the population. Because of these concerns, the security industry can expect touchless technology as a design standard, especially in public areas.  

Widespread Use of IoT

Convenience (and the use of technology to achieve it) is becoming the norm, so there is already widespread use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in homes, businesses, and offices. As electronic access control systems continue to increase in popularity, this trend is expected to continue. 

Increased Use of Wireless Locks (Particularly in the Education Sector) 

Wireless locks have become standard in higher education institutions. School ID badges become credentials that grant dorm residents access to their rooms as well as all other student-accessible buildings on campus. Wherever a one-card credential is deployed, information is updated in the lock via the card. Cards are updated on a daily basis at the entrances or common areas of buildings via installed devices.

PoE Access-Control Systems  

PoE-powered access control systems integrate into a facility’s IP infrastructure. Powered by either a PoE switch or a midspan PoE injector, single-door access control panels can be located above each door as edge controllers. The system can communicate with key points in the access control network, such as electric door locks, biometric readers, and exit request devices.

Benefits of PoE Access-Control

PoE access control has numerous benefits, including:

  • Easy and Safe Management: Due to the fact that PoE uses a central power source, remotely powered devices are able to easily connect and disconnect during service disruptions and reconfiguration.  
  • Cost-effectiveness: PoE eliminates the need for an existing power source because it leverages the existing IT network. This can reduce the costs of expensive wiring, outlet installation, and maintenance.
  • Flexible installation: Because PoE cables are capable of transferring both power and data to every device attached to the local area network (LAN), the flexibility of device positioning expands. This allows devices to be installed into a network with no concern for their proximity to AC outlets. By supporting CCTV devices, PoE access-control systems broaden security initiatives and offer better surveillance.

Limitations of PoE Access-Control

A PoE access-control system can meet the security needs of most businesses, but there is one limitation. These systems offer limited power transmission to connected devices. For this reason, every component connected to a PoE controller must be pre-screened to ensure the total amperage draw is less than the total output limits of the controller.

VERSA TECHNOLOGY USA

Providing custom PoE solutions to support electronic access control systems, Versa Technology USA finds ways to address security through technology. Offering top-notch service and support, it has been our mission since 1994 to provide versatile products that are both user-friendly and cost-effective. Pushing the limits of protocol boundaries while creating equipment that reflects the changing demands of enterprises and small businesses, we have developed an extensive product portfolio that will support a variety of networking applications. Contact us today to speak with one of our professionals about your EACS needs or to learn more about our extensive capabilities.