How BLE Will Disrupt The Access Control Market

As businesses around the world begin opening up their doors, the most forward-thinking among them are looking to the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage their security from the cloud. Access control as a service (ACaaS), together with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), provides a streamlined service that allows security administrators to grant (and deny) entry remotely. It involves minimal upfront costs, customizability, and a high degree of security. And the market is taking note: the sector is projected to reach US$2.9 Billion by 2026.

With BLE capabilities, ACaaS can be used in any sector that needs to grant access to users, like enterprise, industry, government, transportation, healthcare, education, venue and hospitality management. Let’s look at the example of the hospitality sector to see how ACaaS is evolving thanks to the addition of BLE:

The old status quo

We’ve all used key cards to gain entry to hotel rooms. These cards are equipped with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), which means they have little tags inside them that communicate with a reader through radio waves. These cards are convenient, but they’re easily misplaced -- and if you lose your key card while it’s still in its envelope with your room number written on it, you might be putting your security at risk.

Happening now

TraceSafe is piloting a project with major cruise lines to integrate contactless cabin entry capabilities into wearable BLE devices. That means there’s one simple device (like an AirTag) that’s assigned to guests when they arrive. It grants them access to their cabins and any other areas they’re authorized to enter. If they lose the device, it can be easily located using BLE and is completely anonymized, so no one would know which cabin it’s assigned to.

On the horizon

The next phase in TraceSafe’s intelligent device ACaaS solution is integration with remote security systems in order to allow over-the-air updates and access control. Cleaning staff, for example, could request temporary access to certain cabins or areas, and access could be disabled once a guest checks out. All of these access updates would no longer require a person to go to a check-in desk and tap their key on the RFID reader.