Access control software - Expert commentary

The Retail Industry: Securing Life After Lockdown
The Retail Industry: Securing Life After Lockdown

For bricks and mortar retailers, there’s no going back to how it was anytime soon.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, they had been fighting a fierce battle against online shopping and significant e-commerce players.  The high street has done a pretty good job of evolving over the years. From its humble beginnings in the late 19th century to its boom in the late 20th, it’s constantly adapted to meet changing consumer needs. The risk to retail But, it’s now reported to be at risk. Sales and footfall started to dwindle decades ago. The dawn of internet shopping in the mid- 2000s saw numbers drop even more dramatically. Indeed, we have heard and seen reports repeatedly on ‘the death of the high street.’ Footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown Making matters worse, footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown.   Even Primark, the international ‘hero of the high street,’ saw their average £650m in weekly sales nosedive to nothing without an online presence. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Primark for one came back fighting, and is now expected to hit £2bn by the end of the year.  "After a period of store closure, we are encouraged by the strength of our sales," it’s owner AB Foods said in its latest trading update. And continued: "In the latest four-week UK market data for sales in all channels, Primark achieved our highest-ever value and volume shares for this time of year." The threat of new restrictions As we come to a ‘pivotal point’ in the fight against COVID, with threats of new restrictions, it’s time to think about what the next generation of our high streets will look like. The current crisis gives us some clues: it’s local, it’s data-driven and it’s tech-enabled.  Crucially, it’s proven to work. The digital high street One of the biggest changes the high street has had to adjust to is the digital revolution. New technologies have massively disrupted the way we spend. 82% of consumers now shop online, compared with just 53% ten years ago, with more than half of people aged 65 and over saying they shop online. Age is no longer a barrier. That’s meant that not only have in-store sales dropped, but shopping patterns have become erratic and harder to predict. From opening times to managing stock and staff – everything has had to adapt. We had to pivot quickly to create an online model The issue was exacerbated over lockdown, as consumers had little choice but to shop online. Digital retailers struggled with resources to fulfill orders, case in point was the endless wait times for supermarket delivery slots. But together, we managed to evolve. As nimble businesses, we had to pivot quickly to create an online model that could operate in conjunction with traditional stores, either via click and collect or similar operatives. And now, we are reaping the rewards. Countless high street pubs and restaurants are now allowing customers to order online and finding ways with new openings to take orders online and deliver a table service. It’s undoubtedly an adjustment, and one that will be easier for some to make than others – but those that can establish an omnichannel presence now will be in a strong position for the future. Online versus the high street Historically, in-store has come second to online for a lot of retailers: even those with omnichannel strategies tend to treat the in-store experience like something of a second-class citizen. Now’s the time to change that. The new online stores that have popped up are unlikely to go anywhere, even once lockdown ends. Their success is proof that getting online and in-store more aligned is an opportunity for, not a threat to, the high street. There needs to be the removal of the ‘physical versus online experience’ for brands, and instead blend the two together, which is made possible through mobile technology. Digital transformation grants a huge opportunity for traditional retail. And no better an example than Amazon, the poster child of online retail. Amazon had previously acknowledged the value of a physical retail channel and had opened physical locations for its books and fresh produce business streams. In August 2020, post COVID-19 lockdown, it has continued with its plan to open thirty physical stores in the UK. High street trends Alongside digital, many trends that were perhaps bubbling under the surface of the retail high street have now made their way to the forefront of securing the new landscape.  Sustainable shopping has been accelerated by the crisis. In the last couple of years, retailers’ attention has shifted to focus on making their supply chain and working practices eco-friendlier and socially responsible. Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses. Shoppers are more engaged with their local high street now and visiting it more than ever before. Motivated by the instinct to protect their local community. Data has also been key to the new high street. This works both ways, as shoppers are now more informed and in control than ever before. The power of smartphones and increased data coverage has lead to simple but powerful capabilities, like being able to run a price comparison quickly and conveniently. Since a majority of consumers now operate with the ‘mobile mindset’, gone are the days when they will settle for what’s available. Surviving in this new world To survive in this new world, data can support creations of compelling omnichannel experiences.  It can help to build loyalty based on customer values, wants and needs.  And, it allows ways for retailers to understand how customers are moving around the high street to better predict their requirements. Data proves a holistic view of how, where and when customers spend.  Knowing where consumers spend time in store and in which department, demonstrates an understanding of their interests and purchasing choices.  Knowing these preferences, creates the foundation for any great customer experience. The technology-led high street In theory, with so many different opportunities for the high street, it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. To deliver in practice, retailers need to lay the foundations for more efficient operations, to meet consumer demands quickly, efficiently, and cost (and time) effectively. Technology arguably holds the key to the challenges of raising standards.  And it’s in small ways that it can make a difference.  For example, instead of keeping customers waiting while members of staff hunt for a charged-up tablet device to look for stock levels or product information, an automated retail asset management solution means this essential knowledge is right at hand. Even seemingly simple processes can be automated to deliver service and improved business efficiency. For example, on average, it takes staff members six minutes to find a key or working device. That is equal to 42 minutes in productivity time every week for each employee, which can cause losses of up to £40,000 a year. This is where an effective key management system minimizes downtime and cuts unnecessary costs. Traka is supporting businesses, including Primark and leading department stores, to implement new strategies for the critical control of access to key and equipment, enabling more effective use, and in turn quicker customer response times. Asset management solutions With a fully automated asset management solution in place, valuables such as keys, cash trays, stock and equipment (e.g. handheld scanners) can be monitored and maintained. A full audit trail with real-time reporting means retailers can see exactly who has removed which device, when it was taken and when it has been returned. This results in staff becoming more accountable and equipment being utilised more efficiently, eliminating the need for arduous and costly manual administration. Reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street By streamlining processes and effectively protecting business assets, Traka supports in-store retail in their ambition to becomes a ripe opportunity to “innovate, delight and create stronger ties with customers.” And become an integral touchpoint in the future of commerce, helping retailers to adapt to the new retail landscape. In summary, there’s the opportunity to reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street. The industry needs future-focused visionaries who can provide a fresh perspective and reinvigorate bricks-and-mortar retail in the years to come, utilising tools available to them to enhance their proposition to the new post-lockdown consumer.

The New Marriage Between AI and Stadiums
The New Marriage Between AI and Stadiums

Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition  Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement.    Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organization to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.

Thermal screening: The Technology That Will Lead Us Out of Lockdown
Thermal screening: The Technology That Will Lead Us Out of Lockdown

Across the world, the impact of the current pandemic has majorly disrupted how we function in our everyday lives, as a society, and the ways in which we do our jobs. Throughout, our personal safety and wellbeing, as well as that of our families, neighbours and colleagues, has been paramount - and adapting our day-to-day lives to meet social distancing measures has been a learning curve for us all. As we start to reassemble normal life, precautionary measures will continue to be put in place to achieve the universal aim of mitigating the spread of the virus as much as possible. As different countries reach new stages of this process, some parts of the world continue to live and work in lockdown, while some are beginning to open up. This means governments, as well as businesses and organizations, will need to think beyond one-way systems and sanitation stations to contain the risk of infection as more people begin to return to the outside world. Tracing the spread of COVID-19 Of course, this will need to be driven by higher-level support from leaders in government, healthcare and technology to develop innovative ways of tracking and tracing the spread of COVID-19. From contact tracing solutions, to self-reporting apps and thermal screening cameras – governments and businesses across Europe have a new responsibility to seek and reinforce the most effective ways to ensure people’s safety. These measures are particularly pertinent to those reopening their doors as lockdown eases, and those returning to a daily routine of commuting to and serviced office spaces. As more and more people begin to move through public and commercial areas, we will rely more on technology to run in the background to ensure safety and wellbeing is monitored - much like that of the everyday CCTV camera. Thermal temperature screening cameras One piece of technology that we can expect to see as more commonplace is the thermal temperature screening cameras and monitoring system. An example of this kind of device, is D-Link’s recently launched all-in-one, intelligent fever screening kit – which includes a dual-lens thermographic camera, blackbody calibrator, as well as integrated management software. Governments, as well as businesses and organizations, will need to think beyond one-way systems and sanitation stations to contain the risk of infection The premise of temperature screening cameras like this one, is to harness thermal imaging technology coupling it with AI to identify if a person is experiencing elevated temperatures, and raise the alarm automatically when someone at risk of spreading is detected. To monitor the progression or depletion of COVID-19, technologies such as AI facial recognition will play an important role in mitigating the risks of the virus spreading. Thermal cameras that use AI can easily capture and manage employee’s temperature and stop their entrance if a fever is detected. For this reason, such devices are normally installed in a doorway or entrance to a building to quickly detect and identify those displaying symptoms before entering a building. This type of surveillance will be detrimental to the management of COVID-19 in the world of a ‘new normal’ – as companies feel their way out and learn as they go along with people’s health and wellbeing continuing to be center of the mind. Just as lockdown has had an impact on physical as well as mental health, so too will the adjustment to living life post-pandemic. Not only in getting used to and dealing with the emotional and mental pressures of life on the ‘outside’ as they leave lockdown, but they also face the very real risk of contracting the virus and the worries they may have of spreading it. Appropriate installation of temperature screening Companies and organizations have a responsibility in these times to play a supportive role towards employees, such as allowing them to continue working from home until they feel comfortable to work in an office setting. Equally, as restrictions ease, employers have a duty to make the workplace a safe place that is able to uphold the wellbeing of staff, which is where, as we wait for a vaccine, we must make use of the available technology. However, in the case of the thermal camera, in order for it to deliver effective results, it must be installed appropriately. To support this, we have outlined some key points to consider when deploying a temperature screening camera here: Choose a solution that features a blackbody calibrator – a vital part for any temperature screening device. A blackbody calibrator is the basis for accurate calibration of infrared thermography devices and allows the device to accurately detect a fever. Check for facing windows or doorways and heat sources such as radiators as these increase the risk of stray heat or cold sources throwing off readings according to the ISO standard associated with this type of equipment Be wary of weather and changes in climate as the device will need time to acclimatise – in order for readings to be clear individuals coming in from outside must wait five minutes before being screened When mounted, the camera must face individuals head-on and in parallel with their face to capture the inner eye area which is crucial for temperature reading Consider an option using AI which will automatically recognize individuals based on photos in the system Check applicability and legality of temperature screening cameras before deploying There’s a long way to go before life will fully return to normal. In the meantime, and to help everyone along the way, it’s essential that the right measures are in place to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of those we are responsible for. For anyone who is exploring options, know that there is help out there to provide guidance and expertise on the solutions that will be right for you and your business - now, as we go through the remainder of lockdown, and as we slowly move back into everyday lives.

Latest SALTO Systems news

SALTO Systems Announces Acquiring Access Systems Provider Gantner Electronic Austria Holding GmbH
SALTO Systems Announces Acquiring Access Systems Provider Gantner Electronic Austria Holding GmbH

SALTO Systems, a manufacturer of electronic access control solutions, has acquired Gantner Electronic Austria Holding GmbH. SALTO is a manufacturer in electronic access control solutions with trusted customers in Education (Princeton University, University of Oxford), Hospitality (Hilton, Meliá Hotels and Resorts), Healthcare (Cleveland Clinic), Commercial (Assemblée Nationale, T-Mobile), Working Spaces (IWG Group, The Executive Center), Retail (BBVA, Migros), Coliving & Purpose Based Student Accommodation (The Student Hotel, Sonder) and Residential (Greystar). Portfolios in access control Having one of the broadest product portfolios in access control worldwide, SALTO can fulfill virtually every technical and functional requirement. Thus, access control solutions by SALTO can encompass almost every access point in a building and its perimeter. SALTO’s access control management software provides an intuitive user-centered software interface that makes it simple and secure to incorporate access control for any type of building size or user need. In addition to Gantner, SALTO has added Clay (NL) and Danalock (DK) to its portfolio in recent years, thereby strengthening its position in cloud, mobile access, and customer-centric solutions such as ticketing systems and cashless payment. Access systems Gantner is an Austrian company specialized in access systems, electronic locking and locker systems Gantner is an Austrian company specialized in access systems, electronic locking and locker systems, cashless payment, cash register and billing systems, staff time recording systems as well as ticketing and management software for leisure facilities. A customer-centric and service-minded culture positions Gantner as a preferred partner to a variety of customers ranging from small and mid-cap enterprises to Fortune 500 companies. The transaction was financed by a combination of capital increase, bank financing and cash. The capital increase amounts to €125 million and has been subscribed by both existing shareholders such as ALANTRA (SP) and new investors such as SOFINA (BE), PENINSULA CAPITAL (LUX), and FLORAC (FR). Financial investors will hold a combined 30% stake in SALTO, with the remainder retained by SALTO’s founding members and managers (60%) and private investors (10%). Electronic access control solutions Part of what attracted SALTO to Gantner was their strong commitment to research and development. “The addition of Gantner to the SALTO portfolio offers a very bright future for our ability to continue to deliver the absolute best in electronic access control solutions,” said Javier Roquero, the Co-founder and CEO of SALTO. “The Gantner product suite offers a variety of innovative locking solutions as well as cashless payment and ticketing systems that enrich and diversify our product offering and will enhance the end-user experience. We are thrilled to welcome Gantner to the SALTO family.” “Thanks to the new partnership with SALTO, we can expand our product portfolio, take advantage of important synergies, better target our markets and address customer segments with precision. This puts us in an optimal position to continue our dynamic growth,” said Elmar Hartmann, CEO Gantner Group. Accomplish new growth projects together SALTO and Gantner are ready and willing to accomplish new growth projects together With a combined workforce of 1,200 employees in 40 countries, including more than 230 dedicated to R&D, a turnover of €260 million and over a million access points delivered each year, the combined group consolidates its position as a global provider in electronic access control. SALTO and Gantner are ready and willing to accomplish new growth projects together. The combined group will enable SALTO’s customers to offer their guests and employees a hassle-free end-to-end journey (e.g. access to parking lot, main entrance, elevators, ticketing, cashless payment, lockers, office doors, canteen and leisure facilities, all with the same credentials). Contactless solutions “If there is one thing the global COVID pandemic has taught us, it’s that the ability to deliver more contactless solutions managed by end-users is very much needed and is here to stay,” said SALTO Systems CEO Javier Roquero. “Gantner has developed a variety of solutions that allow end users more autonomy in gaining access, paying for merchandise, and purchasing tickets and gaining entry to special events. This adds incredible value to our existing efforts to offer our customers more contactless solutions.”

SALTO Systems Announces The Launch Of Wireless Access Control Technology SALTO Neo Cylinder
SALTO Systems Announces The Launch Of Wireless Access Control Technology SALTO Neo Cylinder

The compact SALTO Neo Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, sliding doors and more. It’s available in an extensive range of models to suit almost any kind of door - from Europe to ASIA to the Americas. The SALTO Neo Cylinder provides the most efficient and convenient way of securing the user’s building and assets. The re-engineered clutch system design makes efficient use of energy, dropping consumption to impressively low levels resulting in 100,000 / 130,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. System standby power consumption is reduced, which extends the electronic cylinder’s battery life. The IP66-rated SALTO Neo Cylinder is weather-resistant, making it especially suitable for the outdoors in even the harshest of environments. Electronic access control Encapsulated safely inside the tough Neo Cylinder exterior is the absolute latest in electronic lock technology. Certified to the highest security standards, and pursuing ever-higher quality and reliability, the SALTO Neo Cylinder is designed to provide users the finest in safety and security. The SALTO Neo Cylinder offers value far beyond security, however. Using smart keys and cellphone technology with the SALTO Neo Cylinder allows users to manage access rights Of course, upgrading a mechanical door to electronic access control enhances security, but the SALTO Neo Cylinder provides greater control over the door by offering end-users access to audit trails, reports, alerts and so much more. Using smart keys and cellphone technology with the SALTO Neo Cylinder allows users to manage access rights - quickly and keyless - which is more secure than using mechanical keys. Connect keyless access There is also additional value in the flexibility, convenience and operational efficiency provided by the Neo Cylinder’s wireless technology. SALTO continues to release impressive technological innovations where connectivity between the door, user and system operations aids the growth of overall access control for any building application or access type. “SALTO’s new Neo Cylinder technology allows us to introduce customers, systems operators and installers to new experiences and to connect keyless access where we couldn’t have justified wiring a door before,” said Marc Handels, SALTO Systems. Access management platform “We’ve seen for years that electronic locking technology is an ecosystem that has continuous change and growth and we’ve had to consider how to best anticipate customers’ needs and recommend smart locking solutions that are easy to adopt and install." "The SALTO Neo Cylinder has more functionality and performance capability than any other cylinder on the market, allowing businesses to connect to their on-premises network via advanced SVN technology or the cloud with our SALTO KS cloud-based access management platform.” Cloud-based technology SALTO Neo Cylinder adds SALTO SVN-Flex technology, which increases reliability of the SALTO SVN Because the SALTO Neo Cylinder is compatible with SALTO SVN, SALTO BLUEnet Wireless and the SALTO KS - Keys as a Service - cloud-based technology, it can be switched to any of SALTO’s technology platforms at any time without changing the hardware. This allows businesses to decide which technology fits better with their security, operations and IT needs. The SALTO Neo Cylinder adds SALTO SVN-Flex technology, which increases the potential, efficiency and reliability of the SALTO SVN, yielding better security, control and convenience for users and sites. SALTO JustIN Mobile technology is onboard every cylinder. This gives users and system administrators the capability to send or receive a cellphone key to open any door or gate with an installed SALTO Neo Cylinder with their iOS or Android Bluetooth or NFC-enabled smartphone. Physical security needs This adds incredible convenience and efficiency for end-users in the field which is where a SALTO Neo Cylinder would most likely be used. JustIN cellphone app capability also complements usage of SALTO’s other management platforms: SALTO SPACE data-on-card on-premise management software or the SALTO KS cloud solution. For any building, function or model, SALTO offers the perfect electronic cylinder to fit any door. Available in the beginning of July of 2020, the SALTO Neo cylinder delivers an easy-to-use electronic locking platform that integrates all of the users physical security needs through smart, wireless and battery-operated smart cylinders, giving them all the latest user access information for virtually all of the doors in the user’s facility.

SALTO Systems And BioCote Release SALTO Neo Cylinder Smart Door Lock Solution With Antimicrobial Technology
SALTO Systems And BioCote Release SALTO Neo Cylinder Smart Door Lock Solution With Antimicrobial Technology

SALTO Systems and BioCote in partnership announce the release of the new SALTO Neo Cylinder smart door locking solution that offers buildings increased protection against microbes to support a cleaner and more hygienic environment. SALTO Neo Cylinder The new SALTO Neo Cylinder is a compact smart door lock cylinder, which comes equipped with the advanced wireless access control design technology. The new solution is designed to provide smarter building management and can be installed on doors, where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not normally possible or required, and includes standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, sliding doors, and much more. SALTO Neo Cylinder is a compact smart door lock cylinder, equipped with wireless access control design technology For nearly a decade, SALTO, in partnership with BioCote, the globally renowned antimicrobial technology solutions supplier, has incorporated antimicrobial silver ion technology in its smart electronic lock range, and supporting product hardware, such as the new SALTO Neo electronic cylinder product range. Integrated with BioCote antimicrobial technology By introducing BioCote antimicrobial technology to SALTO Neo cylinder range, SALTO helps to support a cleaner and more hygienic environment. This is of particular importance in healthcare applications or any public or shared space setting by improving the hygiene of common touchpoints and helping to prevent cross-contamination of microbes. BioCote is an antimicrobial agent that contains silver-ions which are engineered to provide continuous, built-in protection on SALTO product surfaces and hardware devices, such as the XS4 smart door lock range, SALTO Neo electronic cylinders, XS4 locker locks, and the SALTO wall readers. The antimicrobial agent works by binding with microbes and damaging their cells in a number of ways, disrupting their normal functions and preventing them from reproducing.

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