Places of leisure, where people spend their downtime, are public by design. Unlike a bank vault or power plant, they actively invite visitors. They can’t just lock be locked down and hope that no one turns up.

Equally, to ensure user and property safety, access must not be a free for all. Managing risk, separating authorised from unauthorised people and locations, is part of every site manager’s daily routine. Intelligent locking makes this workload a whole lot easier.

Intelligent locking solutions

Intelligent keys combine the powerful features of electronic access control with the convenience and familiarity of mechanical keys. In hugely diverse leisure settings across Europe, they already help managers do more with less.

The right access solution can help system administrators do it safely without putting a burden on those responsible for everyone’s security.

Controlling access to outdoor sites and visitor attractions

Robust, battery-powered locking, backed by intuitive admin software can enable access from anywhere

Obviously, for many leisure attractions, wired electronic security is not an option. Locations may be remote, far beyond the reach of mains electricity. Assets themselves may be outside. Thankfully, cabling is not essential for effective intelligent access control.

Robust, battery-powered locking, backed by intuitive admin software can enable access from anywhere, thereby matching or exceeding the functionality of traditional wired access control. Padlocks built to withstand climate extremes integrate within the system exactly like standard interior locks.

Intelligent electronic key systems

Intelligent electronic key systems are budget friendly. Making the switch from mechanical security is not an all-or-nothing decision. The best intelligent key systems can be rolled out gradually, as needs evolve and budgets allow. For example, the Llyn Brenig Reservoir and Visitor Centre in Wales attract tens of thousands of tourists every year.

Both mechanical and electromechanical locking solutions protect a site, which houses critical infrastructure and watersports facilities, with disparate security needs. Here, electromechanical locking brings long-term cost savings to site owners Welsh Water, because locks no longer need to be changed, when keys are lost. Permissions are simply deleted from the system software.

Upgrading zoo access control system

In 2015, Twycross Zoo launched a £55 million, two-decade development plan. High on the agenda was a new intelligent key solution to replace a mechanical master-key system which was labour-intensive to administer. The new system’s flexibility has put zoo security managers in full control of their site. Only staff with the necessary authority and training can access animal enclosures.

It’s simple for system administrators to issue time-defined user keys. These can permit vets or zookeepers access to enclosures for a specific time period outside regular hours, for example, in an emergency. When the period expires, the key no longer works and site integrity is automatically restored.

Access control in the museum sector

Securing museums, open spaces with priceless contents presents one of security’s biggest challenges

When Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’, was stolen from an Oslo museum in 1994, thieves left a note which read, ‘Thanks for the poor security.’ Securing museums, open spaces with priceless contents presents one of security’s biggest challenges. Around 50,000 artworks are stolen every year, according to some estimates.

Adding further complexity, many museums are located within historic properties. The building itself may be integral to the attraction and come with strict heritage protections. Any new locking installation must make minimal mess. For this reason, wireless is increasingly the preferred choice.

Wireless access systems

Wireless access systems based on robust, key-operated locking, rather than cards and other keyless credentials, combine a familiar technology (the metal key) with the intelligence to keep staff and collections safe. Carrying one programmable key to be able to open doors, cabinets, windows and padlocks makes the security team’s rounds easier. It also minimises the number of keys in circulation with obvious security benefits.

Companion software makes key tracking straightforward, with administrators always knowing who exactly is carrying credentials and they can refine or amend those permissions quickly, and order a full audit trail on demand. And these locks are discreet enough to maintain the property’s appearance.

Protecting high-value assets and exhibits

London’s Design Museum needed access control designed to protect high-value assets and exhibits. Devices here protect a contemporary site with three galleries, a restaurant/café and an events space, with 100 permanent staff and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of daily visitors. The building has multiple door sizes and must meet British Standards compliance.

Electromechanical locks now control access through 56 doors, forming part of a security ecosystem, which incorporates traditional mechanical locks as well. Using intuitive management software, security managers ensure every staff member accesses only the right areas.

CLIQ from ASSA ABLOY installed at museum

The system the Design Museum chose, CLIQ from ASSA ABLOY, also enables integration with third-party cloud-based solutions

Contractors are issued with temporary programmable keys, which saves time formerly wasted escorting them around the building. The system the Design Museum chose, CLIQ from ASSA ABLOY, also enables integration with third-party cloud-based solutions, for control via a single, central management interface.

The delicate balance between protecting a precious building and guarding its contents sets a major challenge. Security and access control must be ‘subtle, but ever present,’ according to one former moderator of the Museum Security Network. Invasive installation, showy or inappropriately designed devices and components cannot be considered.

CLIQ access control technology

This was the checklist facing France’s Musée Maurice Denis, the museum is inside a listed 17th century monument, so they turned to CLIQ access control technology for a solution.

Drawing on extensive experience in the heritage sector, ASSA ABLOY delivered class-leading security without disrupting the building aesthetic. Installation was easy and wire-free, because encrypted electronics inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard batteries inside every programmable key. No further power supply is needed at the door.

Robust, hard-wearing cylinders and padlocks installed

Around 70 robust, hard-wearing cylinders and padlocks now secure doors and windows inside, and outside the main building with waterproof padlocks protecting CCTV camera that are housed on the exterior. Every employee receives access to relevant areas via a single CLIQ key, which administrators program with only the appropriate permissions.

Insurance compliance is another major concern in the heritage sector. Indeed, insurers for 17th century warship, Vasa demand Sweden’s highest level of locking, Class 3. Yet, the Vasamuseet’s access system must also allow 1.2 million annual visitors to move around freely, while keeping exhibits safe.

CLIQ Remote electromechanical technology

Around 700 interior door cylinders were equipped with CLIQ Remote electromechanical technology

To upgrade an existing mechanical system, around 700 interior door cylinders were equipped with CLIQ Remote electromechanical technology. Museum staff used to carry heavy chains with ten or more keys.

Now, facility managers can amend the access rights of everyone’s single CLIQ key at any time, even remotely, using the CLIQ Web Manager. It’s easy to issue contractors such as carpenters with access rights scheduled to end automatically as soon as their work is complete.

Security for shopping and indoor leisure sites

According to one study completed two decades ago, people spend 87% of their time indoors. The number is probably higher now and includes a huge chunk of everyone’s leisure time. Large retail multiplexes like Festival Place in the UK are a popular destination.

Here, over 170 shops, a cinema, sports centre and restaurants have an ever-changing roster of permanent staff, cleaners and out-of-hours contractors. Every person requires secure entry on demand. The public also needs open access for 18 hours every day.

Benefit of CLIQ electromechanical cylinders

Yet, a single lost mechanical key could become a security problem for all users and tenants. Installing 100 CLIQ electromechanical cylinders drastically cut the burden of mechanical key management. Now, cleaners and maintenance workers carry an intelligent key, which unlocks specific doors for a pre-defined time period.

Using simple online admin software, site managers can immediately de-authorise and reissue a lost key or amend any key’s permissions. Generating a comprehensive audit trail, who accessed which lock and when, takes a couple of mouse clicks.

Electronics-inside CLIQ locks

CLIQ also cuts Festival Place operational costs. The electronics-inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard battery inside every key, not mains electricity. Installation was wireless, a huge saving on potentially expensive electrical work.

At Festival Place and wherever we gather to enjoy leisure, indoors or outside, CLIQ enables easy access control for all openings with just a simple, single, programmable key.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What is the impact of lighting on video performance?
What is the impact of lighting on video performance?

Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems?

Alarm.com adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’
Alarm.com adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’

As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app Alarm.com Smart Gateway For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximise lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”

COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”