Pedestrian entrance control technology integrating IP networks to provide smarter options

IHS, a global information and research company, credits the ever-increasing integration of IP technology and highly advanced sensors as the main drivers for expected market growth for speed gates, which end users are deploying in myriad applications. Technology advancements are also allowing for increased cost savings related to remote monitoring, providing systems integrators new options for their clients.

IHS estimated the world market for speed gates to be valued at $219.1 million in 2013 and forecast the market to grow to $310.0 million by 2017 in just released research.

According to the IHS definition, the speed gate works in a similar fashion to other entrance control technologies in the way that it enables authorized personnel to enter restricted areas. Speed gates are equipped with sensors, which detect the presence of people and objects as well as their direction of travel. A programmable logic controller (PLC) along with the sensors continuously scans the walkway evaluating the status of each entry attempt. Unauthorized access attempts and tailgating create both an audio and visual alarm within the turnstile. For the purposes of the report, unit shipments refer to the individual cabinets rather than the number of lanes.

IHS defines an “optical speed gate” as one with no barrier. A speed gate (which does have optical technology as it does sense someone’s presence with lasers) has a barrier.

According to IHS, the main advantage integrators and end-users have seen from purchasing IP-enabled devices is related to service costs. A speed gate on an IP network can be monitored from remote locations. This is valuable for integrators who can troubleshoot devices offsite, discover which part of a machine is not working and deploy a technician with the correct tools and parts to service the speed gate.

 This cuts down substantially on the travel needed to be done by technicians. Technicians in the past often did not arrive on site with the necessary replacement parts because the diagnostics needed to be completed on site, resulting in multiple trips and added service costs.

 “We see networkability and the web appliance capabilities of our entrance control lanes being of more interest to end-users. We see [the speed gate market] going towards providing [IP technology] to allow for remote diagnostics and remote troubleshooting. This is very powerful and is where our company is going and where we are getting a lot of traction so every new product we launch is networkable, IP-ready. Interest is definitely going towards having the ability to tap into different functionality and more information. Clients are being more receptive to these discussions and are seeing more and more value,” states a marketing executive for a multinational speed gate manufacturer.

While IP technology is still in its infancy in many parts of the world, North America and Western Europe have made strides to fully implement this solution type. However, this does not suggest all pedestrian entrance control end-users in these two regions have accepted the technology. For example, while there has been a large uptake of IP technology in North America over the past few years, it has been estimated that only half of consumers are fully embracing IP to integrate turnstiles with other security systems.  Other end-users are unsure of future requirements and are choosing to purchase speed gates with IP functionality which can be implemented at a later date.

 Overall, in order to take advantage of this market, it is important that manufacturers begin to offer IP functionality as integrators and end-users look to reduce the lifetime cost of products.

Airports Using Automation Technology for Airport Entrance Control

Airports are one vertical market IHS sees benefitting from the advancement of speed gate technology. In a bid to cut costs while maintaining acceptable levels of customer service, airports are adopting automation for repetitive tasks involving security and access control.

Every day in airports across the world, countless employees are tasked with sitting at entry/exit doors, scanning boarding passes and other tasks. These duties can be easily and effectively automated through electronics, according to a report entitled “The World Market for Pedestrian Entrance Control Equipment”, which was released by IHS last fall.

“Automation at airports represents a huge opportunity for suppliers of pedestrian entrance control equipment, particularly those that specialize in speed gates,” said Omar Talpur, security, fire and access control analyst at IHS. “The first process that everyone thinks about—and the area where there has probably been the most progress—is boarding control.

“In most airports around the world, employees are tasked with scanning individual boarding passes while passengers idly wait,” Talpur observed. “Automated boarding control provides airports with an opportunity to speed up the boarding process by deploying two to three speed gates in the boarding area to automate this process. In an industry where on-time departures are essential, any acceleration in boarding could potentially save millions of dollars each year.”

But if automation delivers so many advantages, why haven’t frequent flyers seen it deployed on a wider scale?

The answer to this question lies in a number of factors that are inhibiting adoption.

“The airport environment is complex, and in most instances it takes years of planning and construction to roll out a solution that offers such radical changes,” Talpur said. “Automated boarding control won’t happen overnight. However, a snowball effect is inevitable as passengers and airport personnel become accustomed to working with the technology.”

To date, automated boarding control gates have been more prevalent in Europe than the United States.

“Many of Europe’s airports operate as for-profit businesses and are thus incentivized to cut costs and improve the traveler experience to keep passengers traveling and spending money in the airport,” Talpur noted. “Furthermore, in the United States, government agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection play a significant role in airport safety and security. New technologies are required to go through rigorous processes and approvals before deployment, which creates hurdles for suppliers looking to sell product into U.S. airports.”

Pedestrian entrance control manufacturers that are not prepared with products that can serve this industry will have a steep hill to climb should they look to pursue opportunities within airports in the future. Being first to market with an approved, reliable product will be critical to success.

About IHS

IHS is a global information company with world-class experts in the pivotal areas shaping today's business landscape: energy, economics, geopolitical risk, sustainability and supply chain management. It employs more than 8,000 people in more than 31 countries around the world. For more information, contact IHS at