COVID19 and access controls have a very much impactful relation. Almost every business, small or big or medium, has been affected by COVID19 global pandemic. The effect in terms of financial implications and massive technical implementations that added extra pressure on the annual budgets of the establishments. COVID19 is not a history but is now a part of daily living, like other viruses it continues to exist and precautions are taken to save oneself from getting infected. Necessity is the mother of invention, and behind every invention there is a big reason to invent, how to use and for what it was invented. The various precautions and extraordinary measures were introduced & may or may not be still in practice. The use of thermal CCTV cameras at the entrance of shopping malls, hospitals, offices & various places of public access, the IR temperature detection gates, touch free access controls, QR readers instead of biometric fingerprint devices, crowd control and motion detectors etc were part of the measures.
Biometric face detection & identification
Most of the offices use face detection units to permit the entry of staff. The face recognition devices fitted on the surface of the turnstiles or on the wall surfaces of entrance of offices became the routine, and integral part of the access controls and the time attendance. Not only face detection, the mask detection feature has been added to the units to deter the entry of people without mandatory masks. No mask means no entry, so face mask detection technology was incorporated in the biometric devices. The machines used were pre-programed to check the presence & absence of the face mask. Being fitted with the temperature detection devices, the permission is granted for people with standard human body temperature and followed by mask detection parameters. The physical security market is predominantly active in supply of devices with such capabilities. In general biometrics invaded the market based on desired features. The biometric face identification units supplied either use thermal detection techniques or IR sensors for temperature detection. The IR sensors are cheaper than thermal detectors, with almost similar accuracy or little variance. By using these devices, the transport of viruses is stopped to the large extent hence a perfect safety measure with security factors incorporated. The basic detections utlised with regard to COVID19 and access controls are mentioned in the below table.
|Face detection||Mask detection||Temperature detection|
|The face of the user is detected & recognised by comapring with the existing database library.||Specific algorithm is used to identify mask in accordance with the compliance requirements||The temperature is detected either using vicinity IR sensor fitted in device of seperately.|
Thermal Imaging CCTV Cameras
Thermal Imaging CCTV cameras are not new to the market but are actively existing in the market for a long time and used by armed forces of various countries. The word thermal itself denotes the temperature, the thermal imaging cameras detect even the minute variation in the temperature of the target & provide the alert for the same in terms of color map. The IR heat energy generated by the target objects is also called a heat signature, this heat signature is converted into an electronic image hence indicates the apparent surface temperature of the target. Hotter the surface, more the heat signature or we can say heat signature is directly proportional to surface temperature of the target. Since the temperature measurement is done remotely and the operation is total contact less hence thermal cameras found a very important place in COVID-19 prevention measures. Such cameras were used at entrances of the shipping malls, hence detecting the temperature of every visitor , thereby providing a very accurate safety measure to combat the spread of virus. All thermal imaging CCTV cameras are network based connected to the recorder using generic network cables. The blackbody, internal or external, helps in providing accurate temperature measurements. The use of such cameras have impacted the physical security sector in terms of investments in safety measures by business establishments, and development of budget friendly solutions by the manufacturers and vendors.
|Sensor type||Colling method||Thermal sensitivity||Spectral range||Color palletes|
IR sensor based temperature detection gates
Regardless of location, COVID19 and access controls have very much relevance at each entrance. The walk through gates are fitted with the IR sensors, same as the IR thermometer sensors, this way the temperature is detected for every pedestrian. Infra Red (IR) gate posts are the temperature detector walkthrough gates with the temperature measurement, personnel statistics, alarm and other functions incorporated in one unit. The unit has the characteristics of accurate temperature measurement at the fast detection speed. The accuracy of measurement is ± 0.5°C with the temperature measurement ranges from 32°C- 42.5°C. The time taken to display a sudden change in the temperature of an object referred to as response time is <.5 seconds. The units are designed to be safe for all people passing the gate and easy to use, capable of identifying the abnormal body temperature with sound and light alarms. These are very economical sources to keep check and control for the COVID19 related viral transfers. No product can guarantee to halt the spread of virus when it comes to COVID19 and access controls but it is human capability to control the transport & transfer of virus by using the technology properly. The IR sensors can be incorporated in the standard walkthrough gates as well to combat the spread of virus.
QR code readers for turnstile gates
The use of QR Code readers helps in reducing the various unnecessary costs and implications. The QR code supplied to visitors makes it easy to avoid the spread of virus as no RFID card is issued on the temporary basis. Once the card is touched the spread of infection becomes uncontrolled. The QR code remains in the mobile phone of the visitor hence he or she uses that same at the QR reader section of the turnstile, a touch free operation ensures control of transfer of viruses to a very large extent. Nowadays QR code readers are also incorporated with the Mifare & EM card readers, hence the single hybrid reader is enough for all visitors as well as office bearers. The biometric face recognition devices are also embedded with the QR code sensors which helps in operation of the very strong ecosystem of access controls. Most of the QR readers have IP65 rated surface hence a very good option for outdoor applications. The different types of proximity readers used are as below
|RFID /NFC readers||The RFID/NFC readers of any type can be used with the optical turnstiles or tripods or standard access control systems. The readers can either be embedded at the factory itself or the provisions can be created to fix the reader|
|QR Readers||In general such readers are embedded for safety reason and is best option for visitor control management.|
|Touchless readers||The touchless readers are widely used to control the access and are embedded or mounted on the suface of turnstiles or at lavatories or entrances.|
|Face identification reader||The face identication devices have found wider importance to act as readers for access control on turnstiles. The units are fixed over the surface of optical turnstile using an appropriate bracket.|
|Card reader post||This is an external device, can be integrated with turnstile or used in communication the access control panels. The card reader posts are available as basic as well as with builtin access control panel and reader.|
|Coin collector post||These units are used in case of locations where the pre-programed coints or curreny notes are used for entry and exit. These posts have the capcity to hold 100-500 coins in the chest.|
Touch free switches for access control
The door handle or door itself comes under contact of every person associated with that location. We never know who is infected & who carries the virus. If an infected person touches the door handle of the lavatory or lift, it means the virus stays on the handle for a certain period of time. In case another non infected person touches the handle, the virus is easily transferred to him or her hence the door handle itself becomes the epicenter of the virus. Touch-less solutions are instrumental in stopping the transmission of viruses including COVID19. The touchless switches are available based on IR & wifi technology. The devices are operated using the battery or in direct connection with the access controls. . The touchfree readers followed by an innovative technical design to resist any interference with an ambient light source. The touch free buttons at entry & exit of the gates makes it nearly impossible to transfer the virus that would have otherwise caused by manual use of the gate handles etc.
In nutshell, there is a huge impact & relation between COVID19 and access controls, and other physical security systems.