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Flexibility, Efficiency, and Security: The Benefits of Optical Turnstiles

Optical turnstiles can keep foot traffic moving while integrating seamlessly with your current security strategy.

When it comes to keeping the entrances of buildings secure, many facility managers want a barrier that’s versatile, efficient, and can blend into the surrounding architecture – and optical turnstiles are often the solution. Unlike traditional mechanical turnstiles, optical turnstiles mainly utilize infrared light beams to scan ID cards. In addition, most optical versions don’t physically prevent a person from entering unless a gate is closed, and some don’t have gates at all – they use alarms and flashing lights to alert others of an unauthorized entry.

The fact that many optical turnstiles don’t physically bar access is actually one of their main benefits, as they create an open feel to an entrance, and can make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, their digital nature makes them a flexible solution when integrated into an overall access control system.

Optical turnstiles can be customized for high-traffic areas

Whether it’s an airport or an office building, optical turnstiles can be modified to serve a variety of purposes in high-traffic areas. In particular, trolley detection technology allows the turnstiles to differentiate between luggage and potential “turnstile tailgaters,” individuals who follow someone closely in an attempt to deceive the system.

If a building is expecting a large delivery, a security guard can open gates and temporarily deactivate the other security measures, allowing personnel and packages to pass through unhindered.

How optical turnstiles interface with access control systems

A building’s overall security starts at the entrance – and optical turnstiles can be an efficient way to help it remain secure. Typical optical turnstiles with card readers are equipped to interface with an IP network, making it easy for them to integrate into a building’s access control system.

The fact that many optical turnstiles don’t physically bar access is actually one of their main benefits, as they create an open feel to an entrance, and can make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, their digital nature makes them a flexible solution when integrated into an overall access control system.

For example, individuals who are fired from an organization and put on a no-visitor list will have their cards instantly deactivated. A visitor management system can also preregister guests and email them a barcode or QR code that’s displayed on their phone. Using the phone as an ID card, guests gain access to the building for a specific, pre-allocated time period. In addition, optical turnstiles can be tied to the building’s alarm system. If a certain alarm gets triggered it will lock the gates on the turnstiles; and for a mass evacuation, another alarm can automatically tell the turnstiles to drop their barriers for free egress.

New technologies are allowing for advanced customization

Biometric access control features can be added to the turnstiles; instead of an ID card, visitors can use their thumbprint to gain access to the building. The use of infrared technology is also expanding to collect information for both operational and security purposes. One company, Fastlane, has a developed a turnstile that uses “active infrared beams to create an invisible electric field between two pedestals, monitoring the passage of every individual entering and leaving a facility.”

The firm FST Biometrics features advanced recognition technology that can actually visually identify individuals – “at a distance and in-motion.” It uses facial recognition and behavior analytics to ID an individual without the need for an ID card, thumbprint, or any other form of ID that slows down the entrance to a building.

Optical turnstiles offer a convenient solution for entrance security

If you want to make sure your business has top-notch access control while enabling an efficient flow of traffic through your building’s entrance, optical turnstiles could be a great choice. They are aesthetically pleasing, ADA-compliant, and readily integrate with overall security systems, with customization options for organizations with a variety of different needs.

 

Since 2002, Peace of Mind Technologies has delivered over 2000 security solutions across six industries in the greater New York Metropolitan area. We’re specialists who work with you to provide comprehensive site-specific security from implementation to post-installation support. To discuss your needs, please call (212) 688-2767, email at info@pom-tec.com, or complete this contact form.

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