Contactless ID cards are gaining momentum across a number of industries. While the accessories are becoming well known to educational facilities and access control, the list of possible uses is nearly limitless. In addition to being used for traditional building entry, many lockers, safes, cabinets and other storage containers are beginning to be incorporated with electronic access control systems that can be opened with proper credentials.
The Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake City recently implemented such devices when the organization needed to securely store and track the narcotics carried by its firefighters and paramedics, according to a report by Contactless News.
"We know who enters the safe, when they open and close it, so we have exact documentation of everybody who goes into and out of the safe," said Mike Bohling, captain of the Unified Fire Authority, according to Contactless News.
In addition to ensuring only authorized individuals can open sensitive storage containers, access control tools using ID cards also make it so decision-makers don't have to worry about losing keys, contactless access control expert Mike Mahon told the news source.
"Replacing lost master keys can cost thousands up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the facility," Mahon said. "With these, you never have to rekey the facility and you can control and restrict zones 24 hours a day."
A separate report by Global Industry Analysts forecast the market for worldwide electronic access control to generate more than $14 billion in revenue by 2017. As the technology continues to mature and evolve in the coming years, it will likely be leveraged in a range of industries, enhancing the security of physical assets in a wide variety of ways.