Beyond the new normal: A glimpse into the future of access control

The events of the last year have taught us many things – not least, to expect the unexpected. But businesses still need to make forward looking decisions – and that means trying to predict the future. With the access control market set to be worth $12.1 billion by 2024, Codelocks experts share their thoughts on what trends and technologies will shape the future of the access control market.


The Return of the Hospitality Sector – Colin Campbell, Managing Director

The hospitality sector has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic. In particular, the successive relaxation and then tightening of the social distancing rules has made it difficult for businesses to adapt. But I do believe the sector will bounce back, with people keen to get back to a level of normality. Many holiday rentals and hotels, both in the UK and abroad are already booked up for the 2021 season and beyond – even while the future is uncertain.

In terms of access control, the industry is moving at an incredible rate. We launched our Smart Locks four years ago and we are working on the next generation of upgrades. It is something that is moving at such a pace it’s a challenge to stay on top of, you can quite quickly fall behind, so continual development is vital.

Our position in the market has been changing dramatically and we are evolving to meet customer needs. Keyless access solutions, and smart locks in particular are already ideally suited to short-term rental properties and holiday cottages, as they enable the owners to securely provide access to guests without having to actually physically meet them. And of course, we have now added a special coating Clean by Codelocks, which can be applied to any of our products. Using nano-technology, the clear, permanent coating combats SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) and can reduce bacterial growth by 99.96%*, providing an additional measure of protection over sanitization.

Access control solutions we provide can help organizations get back up and running after lockdown. Whether you want to hire a recording studio or rent an apartment, have somewhere secure for deliveries to be held or install a self-service cycle storage facility for your staff, Codelocks NetCode® technology can help reduce the need for physical contact, ease pressure on staff and improve customer experience. The rapid move to digital is driving demand for time-sensitive codes generated via our online Codelocks Connect Portal or API – making access easy for our clients and their customers.



Secure Frictionless Access Control – Jo Milne-Rowe, National Sales Manager, UK and Middle East

The pandemic has shaken up the way we do things. People are now much more aware of how technology can transform our lives, and how quickly. I predict that when we begin to return to offices, sports arenas, hotels and other shared spaces, people will expect a new kind of experience. And that experience will start with frictionless access control.

Frictionless access control is about how people experience entering and inhabiting a space. A frictionless experience often starts even before people enter the building. It’s important that businesses recognize how people are living today, as well as what products they currently have and how these may or may not fit in the future.

It is not just about door locks anymore, especially not for Codelocks. Lots of multi-occupancy offices use hot desks, so businesses need a way to help employees to lock up their personal belongings when they go for lunch etc. Particularly in towns and cities where parking restrictions and low emission zones are active, people need bicycle storage solutions where they can use an app to store their bike for the day. And it needs to be hassle free, offering little or no resistance to the task in hand, while simultaneously delivering the required level of security.


AI and Facial Recognition – Mark Samuelson, General Manager in Asia and Australia

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the industry throughout Asia Pacific, is the way Smart Lock systems are being integrated with gates and lifts. Visitors can often use card, or code, at various touchpoints. Codes and cards are gradually becoming more common than keys throughout Asia, and we’re starting to see fingerprint locks and facial recognition. There are countries in Asia where key cutting machines are simply not sold anymore – a clear sign of the way things are moving forward.

I think the advancement of facial recognition and biometrics in access control will escalate quickly. We’re already using facial recognition to unlock mobile phones and to permit and restrict access in buildings. In the future, we’ll use biometric security to access our home and places of work, and also to give us greater visibility and control. For example, when your children arrive home, you’ll receive a notification, and you can then choose to activate the heating or the cooker. It’s not just the way we access a building that will change, but what happens once we’ve accessed it.


Internet of Things – Matt Welty General Manager in the Americas

I think the biggest trend within the access control industry has been, and will continue to be, the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart Locks have driven growth for Codelocks, particularly in short term rental markets, and we are seeing their use expand outside accommodation access. People are getting used to renting, rather than owning things – like a bicycle store or a locker to charge a mobile phone.

Access control innovations will continue to evolve, integrating with technology that customers are familiar with using such as mobile phones and biometrics. We’re already seeing how using mobile phones to open Smart Locks can make life easier. Most phones have fingerprint and facial recognition built in, adding a level of security now that we did not have five years ago.

With the growth of Smart Locks in particular, and IoT in general, I think we will see developments in terms of battery power and battery consumption. In recent years ambient light, power from a lever or low pulse technologies have all been ways to charge batteries. Battery technology is ripe for innovation, and a lot of research is going into it right now.

In the future there will be more examples of different technologies and platforms coming together. For example, employees might have one mobile app for work that enables them to access the building, pay for a coffee and chat with a colleague – smart workplaces. This usability will continue to evolve in the marketplace. The challenge is going to be utilizing new technology where it makes sense to, but not get carried away using technology just for the sake of it – it is value that customers will appreciate.



Final Thoughts

The pace of digital transformation has stepped up dramatically over the past year, and keeping pace is more important than ever. Smart access control solutions are set to play a key role in transforming the workplace, as well as the hospitality sector. A solution that allows you evolve in the marketplace, adjust to your customers’ needs, and reduce the need for physical contact in a post-pandemic world is certainly a worthwhile investment.

For more industry insight from Codelocks or for advice on how to future-proof your organization, contact our experts.


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**Clean by Codelocks is a brand name operated by Codelocks Ltd. to describe products that have been treated with the LumaCleanTM Multipurpose Photocatalytic Coating manufactured by USA Nanocoat “the Manufacturer”. All test results, certifications and claims are those applied for or of the Manufacturer. Clean by Codelocks should not be considered a replacement for an overall cleaning and disinfection strategy. No claim is made or implied that Clean by Codelocks provides infallible protection against agents that may be harmful in part or whole to humans or animals.

The Codelocks Control + Convenience logo and NetCode® are registered trademarks of Codelocks Ltd., registered in the United Kingdom, United States and other countries and regions.


22, Jul 2021

CL4510 Smart Lock

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CL5510 Smart Lock

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Clean by Codelocks

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