Trends capture the public’s attention. They explode in popularity only to die out a short time later. Like acid washed jeans and hair perms, the fantastical trend of completely touchless and frictionless access solutions are a trend that won’t last.
Like acid washed jeans and hair perms, the fantastical trend of completely touchless and frictionless access solutions are a trend that won’t last.
It is easy to understand why touchless, frictionless security has become so desirable in the midst of a pandemic. The aspirational goal of complete safety through zero contact environments is extremely appealing to a world ravaged by the novel coronavirus. The problem is, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Brivo’s Founder and CEO Steve Van Till calls it “a fad.”
In a well intentioned effort to meet new pandemic induced customer demands, companies rushed to offer touchless access solutions. A recent Inside Access Control blog post describes these solutions as, “…an iteration of old technology Frankenstein’d together like a kit car and our industry saying ‘tada!’”
The blog points out that, “the market is asking for innovation to happen at the door.” In a mad dash to satisfy a new customer need, the industry really missed the mark. Much more intentional security solutions must be developed to actually serve a helpful purpose to our customers. In other words, the security industry has work to do.
The market is calling for the next step in access: responsive door and fluid access experiences for users. That is going to require innovation and creativity.
What does an intentional and comprehensive fluid access solution look like?
Steve Van Till points out in his recent opinion blog that, “electronic access control systems have always been touchless… It’s the doors themselves that are not touchless. They are the dirty gas pump handles of ingress and egress. Touched by thousands, cleaned by few, a menace to all.”
The example that comes to mind are the public bathrooms with touchless faucets and soap dispensers, all designed to help us keep our germs to ourselves. But, to leave the bathroom, you have to touch the bathroom door which everyone else has touched. What was the point of that touchless hand washing experience?
The missing link of a well-thought-out and truly touchless access experience is the door opening mechanism itself. There is no touchless access experience without a touchless door. The demand for this technology is extremely high right now, obviously, and so is the price.
The question remains, how long will the demand for 100% touchless access solutions remain? Once a coronavirus vaccine is widely available and life gets back to whatever normal might remain, are businesses still going to want to put up the extra money for automated doors?
Only time will tell.