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A complete guide on Touchless Access Control Systems



Keep your workplace hygienic and safe for employees and people visiting your facility. In this complete guide, we have covered all the information you need to install or upgrade your existing access control system to contactless.

Covid-19 and World-wide Pandemics have changed the game as it relates to security.  People no longer want to touch public door handles, push buttons on elevators or swipe a proximity card reader for an access control system.  Modern-era access control systems still rely on card readers, electronic locks, and physical contact. However, every aspect of our lives is rapidly evolving, and the future demands touchless access control systems for a safer way to access your homes and buildings. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in futuristic touchless technologies and also understand the core benefits of employing such access systems for your commercial space.

Why must we physically touch the access control systems when we can wave and use facial recognition to access. It will offer speedy access and keep us from contracting any viruses or germs from the system. Upgrading your access control system to a touchless system is a lot easier than you might think.

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Umbrella Security Systems can help you choose the best touchless access control system that meets your business need.

Chapter 1:

touchless access control

What is touchless access control?

Touchless Access Control is designed to offer a contactless way for the employees and visitors to enter the commercial or communal building. With touchless access control systems, you can eliminate any need for physical contact, and your employees can use face recognition, hand wave gesture, or mobile app access to get inside the building.

Contactless access control systems rely on smart touchless card readers and scanners that can quickly identify and scan the encoded numbers on access cards to grant access. Moreover, these systems also use a Bluetooth connection for employees who want to use the secure company app on their smartphones to enter the building.

Employees and visitors can also use the facial recognition system to unlock the door. This face recognition system can also be paired up with internal security systems to keep track of visitors at all times.

Hands-free door unlocking

Commercial buildings have adapted with hands-free solutions that improve facilities’ cleanliness and maintain hygiene. These solutions lower the spread of germs through high-frequency touchpoints within the building.

Today’s pandemic situation requires minimal contact with the surface to reduce the spread of germs. These contactless hand-free solutions can minimize the risk of virus transmission.

There are different touchless solutions, such as: 

  • Low touch mechanical solutions: Arm or foot pull (no latching), push or pull paddle trim (latching), hold-open devices. Arm and foot pulls are an easy and cost-effective solution for new and existing doors made of aluminum, metal, or wood.
  • Low touch electromechanical solutions: electrified hold-open devices. Electromagnetic solutions pair a low energy door operator with a wave-to-open switch and electric latch retraction exit devices.
  • Touchless Fully automated solutions: low energy operators with electrified hardware and actuator.

Touchless access control system for your business

Touchless access control systems offer you the safety and security of current access systems but eliminate unnecessary physical contact. Communal places are a hub of germs, diseases, and airborne viruses, and it makes sense to use touchless access to refrain from any physical activities. These systems are designed to eliminate any indirect contact between individuals and stop the virus from exchanging hosts.

Right now, your business must be using old access systems with a key card swipe functionality where the employees have to physically swipe the card, pull the door, and then enter the building. These key card systems and door controllers are among the most commonly touched surfaces in any business place. You need to use touchless access systems to eliminate these common touch points to reduce the risks of diseases transfer and spread.

Chapter 2:

touchless access control systems - mobile

Benefits of upgrading to contactless access control

In a world where people don’t want to touch public areas because of the wide-spread of covid-19, touchless access control systems can be your saviors. These contactless systems can eliminate the need to direct or indirect contact, and these can also offer the following perks at your fingertips.


Unlock by Waving Hand

This allows a no-touch hand-free solution by just waving your hand near the card reader to gain access to your facility. These readers can sense the hand gesture up to a few inches away from the facility door. The action triggers authorization with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth low energy (BLE). The smartphone does not necessarily have to stay in your hand; it can be in your purse or pocket. This solution allows less traffic around lobbies or entryways and more flexibility to the user.

use smart phone Touchless Access Control Systems

Mobile App Unlocks

What if the employees want to use their smartphones to gain access to the workplace? Well, contactless access systems allow that as well. Your employees can unlock the door with their smartphone. The touchless access control system can read the encoded number for their mobile screen, or the employees can use a secure proprietary app to connect with the access system and request access to the building.


Touchless Visitor Access

The visitors will no longer have to click on the keypad, wait for the staff to let them in, and get access to the building. They will only have to wave at the access control system, and they will be allowed in by the security staff. This also allows for touchless visitor access, and you will be able to secure your building against any unknown germs or diseases by eliminating the need for contact.

Umbrella Security Systems can help you to install the best touchless access control system that meets your business need within your budget or upgrade your existing access control system to contactless. Request a free consultation or call us at 1-630-270-3313 for more information!

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Chapter 3:

types of touchless access control

Types of touchless access

There are different types of touchless access control system.

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Unlock by waving hand

Rather than physically touching the card readers to gain access, your employees can quickly gain access to the building with touchless smart cards or by waving hands. They can wave the hand in front of the card reader, and the card reader will verify their identity with the on-site or cloud-based database. Once their identity is confirmed, the card reader will allow them to enter the building without requiring any contact with the reader, door handles, or door controller.

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Mobile Phone App unlock

Employees can also gain access to the building with their mobiles. The employees only have to open up the app on their smartphone when in proximity to the reader and tap a button to trigger the unlock. Modern-era smart readers use BLE, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to send and receive requests from the smartphone and verify the employees’ identity.

Therefore, the mobile app will work and get you access even if there is no internet available. This mobile app access adds a security layer by leveraging biometric and multi-factor authentication built-in to the application.

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Mobile Bluetooth unlock

The readers use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) requests to verify the employees’ identity even if the mobile is locked or in their purse. This keeps the line moving, and your employees can gain contactless access to the building. For this, you will also need an application that can receive requests from the access system for verification.

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Hands-Free Switches, Actuators, & Readers

A commercial security system can be easily upgraded to contactless access control solutions.

There are different types of actuators like card readers, mobile credentials, key fob, micro tag, intelligent keys, and more that provide hands-free access in your facility. Unlock by waving hand and motion sensor technologies unable to open switches that trigger to open the door when a movement is detected near your facility door.

The door can open with various actuator methods, including access control readers for restricted areas that need to be secured. Key Fob or access control cards works with readers to provide touchless entrances in your facility.

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Touchless Biometric Scanning

Contactless biometric technology attempts to gather and add biometric traits like fingerprints.

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Face Recognition Access

Instead of the traditional key swipe method, employees and personnel can now easily use facial recognition to get access. This is a far more secure method than the conventional key swipe or card reader technology. Anyone can get access to your employee’s card and key, but it will be impossible for them to replicate the same facial features and get access to the building.

Face recognition access limits unauthorized access to your building and only allows access to the appropriate personnel. This way, you will be able to eliminate the need for physical contact or swipe, and you will also be able to offer a higher level of security for your commercial place.

Chapter 4:


Why upgrade an existing system to touchless?

COVID-19 has forced us to reshape all aspects of our lives, and it has forced us to evolve in contactless manners. From social interactions to contactless food delivery, we are moving forward in a new direction, and this is why you need to upgrade your existing access control systems to touchless.

The primary costs associated with access control are labor and installation. However, with simple component changes, your existing system can become ready for any environment and be better prepared in the new world for stopping the spread of diseases like covid-19. Contactless Technologies enables safer workplace and provides confidence to businesses planning to reopen post covid.

You will not have to go through the tedious process of re-installing new systems. Upgrading to touchless will require minor and cost-effective changes to the existing access control systems.

You can rewire the card readers and door controllers to accept facial recognition with new components. These components will merely capture the employee’s facial features and send these back to the existing database for verification. You will only have to upgrade the touchpoints to offer contactless means of verification. The cost associated with such changes is worth it and will not take a toll on your budget.

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Keep people healthy and safe

Touchless access control systems can help you keep your employees and business safe. When you remove the contact factor and offer touchless access, you ensure that your employees do not directly or indirectly contact one another. This will keep the germs or viruses from spreading, keeping your business, and employees away from harm.


How a touchless access control system is different from a basic system

You must be wondering if there are any significant benefits to using a touchless access control system rather than continuing with the traditional basic access systems. Well, there are more than one reasons to use a touchless access system for your commercial or communal building. Let’s take an in-depth look at the features that make these systems stand taller than the rest.

Chapter 5:

hands free access

How to upgrade to contactless access control systems

Contactless Access Control provides a fast and safe way of identifying employees as they enter your facility without the need for touching any surfaces.


Configuration of access control system

Current access control systems use physical contact methods to offer access to the building. This means that you will have to swipe your card or input your verification code into the electronic lock to get access. This may have been useful in the past but is no longer the best security and safety option. Let’s explore the different configuration methods of current access control systems.

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Controller configuration

These door controllers are responsible for making entry decisions for employees. Once their identity is verified, it is up to door controllers to decide to depend upon the verification status. These door controllers can also raise alarms and alert the security in case of unauthorized access.

These controllers also work in sync with other controllers in the proximity, and these continually transmit information back and forth to enforce entry decisions at all doors.


Host the access control system in the cloud

With touchless access control systems, you can upgrade the access control management software to a cloud-hosted server rather than a physically maintained local server. This allows you to continually keep our data safe without the need to back it up every few hours. The cloud-hosted servers can also offer wireless management and monitoring services at your fingertips.

Physical and local servers have to be maintained, which can also be manipulated by gaining physical access. On the other hand, cloud-hosted servers do not need to be maintained, and these offer a higher security level for database maintenance.


Replacing existing access hardware

Now that you understand what touchless access control systems are and what they offer, it is time to understand how to upgrade the existing system to a contactless one. As mentioned earlier, the costs associated with upgrading to touchless are lower than installing a new access control system. You should understand what components need to be upgraded to achieve touchless access.

Electronic Door locks and door handles

The doors are electronically locked, and the entry decision from the door controller manipulates the electronic locks. If the employee is authorized, the door controller will switch off the electronic lock momentarily and allow them into the building.

The core purpose of door controllers is to limit the access of unauthorized personnel into the building. These help card readers verify employees’ identity and cross-check any suspicious activity with the on-site database. You can replace these door controllers with touchless door controllers that will take care of everything wireless and automatically. 


Replace proximity card readers with hands-free switches

When it comes to card readers, you only have to replace the existing “proximity card readers” with “touchless proximity card readers.” Proximity and HID card readers are installed as part of access systems. These card readers capture useful data from keys and cards to extract information and verify it against the database of employees and authorized personnel. 

Currently, the majority of businesses use access control keycards or key tags. However, there is the option of smart touchless cards as well. These can also be used with touchless proximity card readers. Contactless identity or access cards do not have traditional magnetic strips. These cards come with encoded numbers on the front, easily identified by the card reader.

Moreover, touchless card readers can scan these cards and the encoded numbers from a distance and beep upon verification. This eliminated the need to swipe the cards or press them against the reader. 


Install hands-free automatic door opener hardware

To upgrade to a touchless system, you will also have to integrate an automatic door opener into your existing system to promote a touchless workplace. COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on social interactions and physical contact. This disease can quickly spread upon contact, and this is just one of the diseases that spread via direct or indirect physical contact. Therefore, reducing common touchpoints in business places will reduce the risk of spreading diseases.

You should reduce the need for indirect contact and common touchpoints by installing a hands-free door opener on your existing electronic doors. Once the smart and touchless card reader verifies the employees’ identity, the door will click open by itself.

Chapter 6:

access integration

Integration with Other Systems

Are you wondering about the integration capabilities of touchless systems? You should know that these systems offer various integrations ranging from video surveillance systems or emergency notification systems. Let’s see how you can integrate these systems with others.

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Video Surveillance Systems

You can integrate your touchless access control systems with video surveillance systems without any issues. Since these systems already use facial recognition technology, these can easily be combined with the video surveillance systems for a higher security level around the workplace.

The access system will keep on sending the facial data to the video surveillance system. The system can keep an eye on the employees and ensure that only authorized personnel are inside the building.

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Mass Emergency Notification Systems

These touchless access control systems can also be paired up with mass emergency notification systems to help warn everyone in case of emergencies. Since the access systems will know the employees and personnel currently inside the building, it can send them emergency notifications and keep them safe from fires or other emergencies.

Moreover, these mass emergency notification systems can also be customized to send alerts to employees and people in the vicinity. This speeds up the entire process, removes unnecessary alerts, and conserves the data usage by optimizing the process.

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Visitor Management Systems

Besides keeping track of employees, you can integrate these systems with visitor management systems, and you can keep track of your guests and visitors. These systems will help you ensure that the visitors are not wandering around in restricted places and are inside the building for legitimate business.

You can also help guide the visitors in the right direction if they get lost inside the building. The visitor management system will help you ensure that all the visitors have left the building and do not spend any unnecessary time walking around the different offices. This management system will also help you identify corporate spies, thieves, and intruders who are merely casing the place for nefarious purposes.

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Automatic Door Openers/Closers

Once the employees have swiped the card and gained access to the building, they still have to use the physical door handles to come inside the building. With touchless access control systems, the employees will no longer have to manually pull or push the doors. Once the access is granted and their identity is verified, the doors will automatically open up and grant access to the building.

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Biometric & Facial Recognition Software

Biometric access software is often fast, highly accurate, reliable, safe, secured, involves low maintenance cost and produces enhanced high-quality images. These use high image sensor technology, typically ranging from Ultra HD resolution to 4K Video resolution, to accurately capture the pattern.

Facial recognition removes the need for clicks or logins. It is an advanced technology that captures your face from all angles and stores the image for authentication when the user needs access. Facial Recognition solution is extremely time-saving, accurate, optimizes resources, offline capability, increased productivity, well-integrated capabilities, and hygienic.

These processes can also simplify various workplace procedures for Time and attendance.

In this COVID 19 situation and for the years to come, it is highly recommended to install a Touchless Access Control system in your facility or upgrade your existing access control system with contactless to keep your employees safe. 

Umbrella Security Systems has the potential, experience, and expert knowledge to guide you throughout the process of installing or upgrading to Touchless access control.

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