IoT and biometrics broaden the scope of access control

Stockholm, Sweden

The access control market is opening up and face recognition has long term potential to succeed where other biometrics have failed, according to Jim Dearing, Senior Analyst Security & Building Technologies at IHS Markit. asked him for his expert opinion on biometrics in access control and some of the wider access control issues for the future.

Jim Dearing believes the biggest trend on the access control market is the integration between logical and physical access. He says biometric reader revenue sales have developed well over the last five to ten years, but they have not grown to the point where they are actually replacing physical credentials across the entirety access control installations – like many predicted when biometric technology came to the market. A big reason is that they are much more expensive than card readers.

Which has bigger potential, fingerprint or face recognition?

”Fingerprint is much larger in terms of sales, mainly because fingerprint readers are used fairly often in conjunction with time and attendance systems. They are also cheaper and at the moment, more reliable when it comes to securing a door. However, face recognition has far more potential because it covers quite a few of the weaknesses that the adoption of fingerprint has suffered from during the past decade. Face recognition is frictionless; technically it can identify a person before he or she get close to the door. It proposes a tremendous value proposition in terms of convenience and it can be linked to other security systems. There is a lot of potential there.”

And fingerprint has not?

“In my opinion, fingerprint will not ever fully replace physical credentials, but there is still a chance that face recognition could do that. However, it will take a very long time, in the next 5-10 years, there is absolutely no chance. Physical credentials are good and they are cheap.”

What is your view on cloud solutions and access control as a service?

”The adoption of access control as a service and cloud solutions in general varies a lot by geographic region. The US market is by far the market leader in adoption of cloud solutions. Selling a service is always more profitable than selling equipment in the long run. So you will see more convergence around that sort of business model in this market in the future.”

Is the access control market becoming more open?

“Yes, there is a trend towards open standards even though it is a little bit behind the video surveillance market. But many of the suppliers of access control that are doing well are working with open standards. Access control systems are being required to integrate with other systems more than before.”

How important is access control within IoT?

“Access control is a really interesting area for IoT because access control can tell IoT building system managers exactly who is where and when, what authority they have and what level they are on in the corporate structure. It can be leveraged, but it has not been leveraged yet. The providers have access to large amounts of data but they do not know what to do to make money out of it yet.”

How do you think the market will look like in the future?

“There will probably be a wider adoption of mobile credentials, being able to open doors with your phone. It is getting a lot of attention in trend shows. Will that be the next technology like biometrics in terms of not being able to replace physical credentials? Maybe. I also think we will see more adoption of electronic access systems in schools and education.”


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