Smartphone App Based Contactless Access Control

Imagine a scenario where an employee forgets the access card. In such case, to enter the organization, the employee needs to request the security team for temporary access. The security team validates the employee based on employee details and provides temporary card for a day. Thus, the employee is allowed to enter the office premises but throughout the day, the employee needs to request someone for help to move within the campus.

Access control is a part of our daily lives. Various mechanisms, manual and automatic, are used to control access. We use locks to secure different premises like home, shop, vehicles etc. The keys for the respective locks are restricted to select few members to ensure only the authorized people can access such premises.

On the business front, Organizations, small ones to large corporations, have in place different types of access control systems like card readers, biometric scanners, turnstiles etc. Such access control systems are meant to provide access to large number of people who are employees, contractors, visitors etc. for such organizations. Within the premises, there are access and authorization restrictions in place. This ensures that only authorized people are allowed access to certain areas like server rooms, client specific development centers etc.

Such methods for access control have become traditional and have been in use for decades.
These methods often have limitations.

  • One of the main issues is that they rely on physical items, such as key cards or PIN codes, which can be lost, stolen, or forgotten. This can lead to security breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive areas.
  • Time-consuming and can be inconvenient.
  • Incur Cost of Physical Security and Manpower.

Imagine a world where you can enter a building without ever having to touch a key card or keypad. A world where access is granted seamlessly and securely using cutting-edge technology. This is the future of access control, and it’s closer than you think.

At its core, contactless access control works by scanning an individual’s unique data through the mobile application request and comparing it to a database of authorized users with access. If the individual is authorized, the access will be granted, allowing them to pass through without any physical contact. Contactless access control is the next generation of security technology, utilizing advanced sensors and algorithms to recognize and authenticate individuals in real-time. With this innovative approach, the days of lost or stolen key cards and forgotten PIN codes are a thing of the past.

Instead, Access is granted with a simple wave of the hand, making entry faster, more convenient, and more secure than ever before. One needs to do is to ensure the smartphone is in the hand and the app is active (while waving the hand). With the Bluetooth on, waving the smartphone with the app near the door/turnstile etc. can be used for access. NFC enabled phones can also be used for access, by tapping on the reader.

  • Use of handheld devices like Smart Phones, Smart Watches (wearables), Tablets etc. for enabling access.
  • The smart devices detect the access point from a distance (range supported by the application) and requests for access (as needed by the user).
  • The application uses the features on such devices like NFC, Bluetooth, Location etc. to request access to the door/turnstile.
  • The range for such devices is more than the range of a physical card.

In a typical mobile app architecture for access controls, it contains the following important layers:

  • Mobile App
  • Application Backend
  • Access Control Backend

The mobile app connects with Application backend which connects with the Access control solution. The Rest APIs are commonly used for communication between different layers.

The Mobile App requests for access using Access control solution SDK (after the required configurations are in place, activation is completed, and access has been provided to appropriate access points)

Advantages of Smartphone based Access:

  • Centralized configuration management.
  • Admins can control access – Add, Update, Remove partial/complete access.
  • No Delay in onboarding new employees.
  • Easily manage visitors by providing them temporary access through the application.
  • Features to provide time-based access.
  • Easily manage access for tenants in case of Shared Spaces.
  • Delivers greater convenience.
  • It is hygienic, thus reducing the risk of germs and viruses being spread through shared surfaces.


Smartphone App Based Contactless Access Control are the future and have the potential to be prevalent across the industry.

Author Details

Mohammad Athar Jamal

Athar is an Enterprise and Cloud Solution Architect at Infosys. He works on Digital Transformation for different clients and enhances the Digital Experience for enterprises. He architects microservices, UI/Mobile applications, and Enterprise solutions by leveraging cloud services, designing cloud-native applications. His work includes providing leadership, strategy, and technical consultation.

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