Mar 15, 2016 Blog 0 comment

5 New Functions of RFID Access Control Software You Could Implement Right Now

When you hear the term Access Control Software you probably imagine an application that is connected to a card scanner (RFID Proximity Card or Card with a printed barcode) and enables or disables door locks upon verification of the person’s information in the database. While the security is one of the most basic functions, there are a lot more opportunities to capitalize on a simple “scan”.

Not only can Access Control Software using RFID or other AIDC technology significantly increase access efficiency and provide real-time visibility, it also increases security and safety, manages time and attendance, manages traffic flow at events and conferences, collects marketing data and provides other benefits that increase customer satisfaction. Let’s review the new functions of the old access control system in detail.

1.    Emergency Management

While the personnel and visitors are issued RFID cards to enter and exit facility, by deploying more read points in key areas and adding a few functions to your access control software, you can turn your basic access control system into emergency management system. How? First define areas within the facility, place RFID read points at entrances and exits to and from each area. The size of the areas and density of read points will define the granularity of your visibility. Then add the read points assigned to areas into your system software and deploy logic to show a person’s location based on the latest time their RFID card was scanned by a particular area reader. You can be creative and show numbers of persons per area on the map (in real time), lists per location, various dashboards, etc. This data will help you determine where all the persons are in case of emergency and validate that they were all evacuated.

2.    Time and Attendance

Since the access control system logs times in and out, you can add a simple functionality by calculating number of hours spent on-site. The data can be automatically reported to a human resources application, which will count hours and days worked, as well as times started and finished work to watch out for tardiness.

3.    Event Management

RFID tags in tickets, badges or cards can be used to gain entry into an event (sporting, entertainment or conference) but also to gain entry into specific areas like personnel only area, VIP visitor only area, or a certain seating section. The same card or tag can be also associated with a credit card or prepaid amount and can be used for cashless/credit-less payment at concessions.

4.    Marketing

When using RFID technology for access control, you can easily extend the system to help you gather data that supports direct marketing activities and lead generation product sales. If you know where your visitors spend the most time, what they are doing there, which product they are touching or using, which areas they are walking through, it can provide valuable insights into the person’s behavior and allows you to target them with opportunities and products they would find interesting and useful. This can be done by deploying RFID read points in the areas of interest and analyze the reads captured at these read points.

5.      Safety

Another variation of access control system can be deployed in mental health institutions, drug rehabilitation centers or facilities for the elderly, where it is important to make sure that patients don’t wander off, on purpose or accidentally. In this case, an RFID tag placed on a patient, in form of a necklace, wristband, ankle strap, attached to a shoe or sewn into clothing, can help authorize and open access to various parts of the building as well as de-authorize and close exits from the facility and provide alerts. The same tag can be used to verify the identity of a patient for correct drug dispensing, correct meals due to diet restrictions, allowed activities due to health, all for the safety of patients.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to utilize your access control system more than you originally thought. The restrictions may be posed by the technology as most of these applications require longer range RFID system, rather than the usual short range proximity systems, where the card has to be touching or nearly touching the reader. However, if you are intrigued and would like to see how your access control software can be supplemented for additional functions, contact us!