The security industry has always ridden the crest of the wave of technology since the introduction of micro processes catapulting security from padlocks, ‘Deadlocks’ and big dogs, to programmable, timed and remotely controlled systems.
The wide use of the IOT (Internet of Things) now offers limitless control of any security system, obviously for CCTV and Intruder Alarms but massively for Access Control.
Of all the advances in tech for Access Control the one that best helps the users is the ease of Access or Egress and the new kid on the block is ‘Touchless’ switches
Touchless switches have been around for several years being extremely useful for Disabled & ‘Easy Access’ situations, but due to the current Pandemic Touchless Switches have been brought up on stage to show they have a larger part to play in the world of Access Control and control of infection.
Over the last 32 years I have renewed hundreds of conventional ‘Push Switches’ for Access Control systems. Like a typical ‘Light Switch’ they rely on moving parts, springs and electrical contacts and all vulnerable to the pressure the user exerts on them.
Over time or misuse these switches suffer mechanical failure and require renewal. But, before they give up the ghost they tend to die in a ‘drawn out’ death, clinging to life by offering the occasional ‘I’m still working, nothing wrong here’ cry for attention. Even if they do still function, they tend to look tired, old, and ready to call a Taxi, just to the ‘end of the road’.
‘Touchless Switches’ have no moving parts (ok, there is the relay contacts) that the users can press, push, hit or abuse.
They are also illuminated, they look welcoming and modern. When activated they give out a bleep to let the user know they are alive and alert and will allow access. They are a pleasure to the visual and audible sensors of the user, and here is the kicker, they prevent the spread of germs, viruses, dirt, sticky things and, other things!
Nothing to press here, no need to push either, in fact, putting the Pandemic aside, probably the best thing about Touchless Switches is their ‘Ease of Use’. No need to be too precise or exert any pressure, just be somewhere around within a 70mm area of the switch will do the trick.
Oh, so can I touch the switch?, Of course! It will still work, and, because the material the switch is made from is Antibacterial (to at least 99% of bacteria) you will still benefit from safe and healthy Access Control.
Touchless Switches can also be (this is great), Wireless… put them where you want, on a wall, a desk, under a desk, on a glass panel or window or, on the floor. (you are thinking of touching the floor aren’t you?) Well no. you don’t touch the floor, you use your foot, we have foot sensitive wireless touchless switches, how good is that?.
There isn’t a situation where a Touchless Switch can’t be used instead of a mechanical switch, in fact it is the mechanical switches who at a disadvantage.
Oh, here is a list of the ‘cons’ for Touchless Switches;
They require a permanent 12v power supply or battery.
That’s it, that’s the only downside and this is no problem for new installs or the vast majority of existing installations.