The year ahead for access control

Posted On 26 Jan 2017
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IHS Markit has announced its predictions for electronic access control technology in 2017. Compiled by analyst Jimmy Dearing, these include

  • Globally in 2017, the access control market will increase by 6.8 percent and exceed $4.2 billion.
  • Access control will continue to play a larger role in enterprise through deeper integrations with video surveillance, business processes and IoT.
  • Mobile credentials and biometrics will be two of the top hardware trends to watch along with logical/physical integrations and remote services such as access-control-as-a-service (ACaaS).


  • Approximately 4.5 million credentials were estimated to have been downloaded in 2016. IHS Markit forecasts that this number will triple to around 13.5 million in 2017.
  • The reason for the strong growth is two-fold:

1) The market sentiment believes that, as in other industries, mobile credentials in access control is not only a strong value proposition by itself, but mobile credentials also have the ability to unlock a more integrated and better value system for the end user while also allowing providers new avenues of services that can support revenues streams going forward.

2) In addition, mobile credentials are not competing against the traditional physical card at this time and therefore have a potential market equal to that of smart cards.

Electronic locks in emerging regions

  • Electronic lock growth in emerging countries globally will expand by about 9 percent. Eastern Europe and Africa will lead all other regions with an estimated growth of 17 percent for electronic locks in 2017.

New biometric technologies

  • Facial recognition will make further strides towards establishing itself as the second most popular type of biometric reader.
  • Although fingerprint remains the industry standard for biometrics, facial recognition and iris recognition are currently battling it out for the title of the second most used type.
  • IHS Markit forecasts an increasing interest in facial recognition over iris recognition. Iris recognition is more accurate and better suited for its niche role than facial recognition, but facial recognition is easier to install and does not have (unfounded) concerns for health.
  • The market for facial recognition is predicted to grow rapidly over the next five years. Although it will not overtake iris recognition in revenue or shipments, it will have momentum.

IP-enabled controllers will experience double-digit growth

  • Global unit shipments of IP-enabled access controllers will grow at double the rate of other panel variants in 2017.
  • The growth of the market for IP-based panels reflects greater use of web-based and online products.
  • As access control systems move from PC-based to mobile-based control elements, the associated infrastructure will likely follow suit.