Access control

Access control using doors, barriers and turnstiles

Pedestrian access control projects, always made to measure

Access control using doors, barriers and turnstiles

Access control systems are present in many premises, from common areas, swimming pools, sports centres and spas to garages, institutional buildings, neighbourhood community centres and companies. The visible parts for users are usually the doors, barriers and turnstiles that control entry in areas with or without surveillance but with a high throughput of people.

In this article, we’ll talk about the physical mechanisms that act as a barrier, but also about everything behind it: the opening device and the access control software as a security system.

What are the most common barriers for access control?

As we explain in this article on access control types, there are several devices that provide access, such as proximity systems that use RFID technology (in cards and other devices), smartphones with Bluetooth technology, keyboards, QR readers, licence plate readers and even biometric systems (e.g. via fingerprint or face detection). All these devices act as "keys" and depend on the area to be protected and the level of security that needs to be applied.

Depending on the project, one type of barrier or another will be installed:


These are the most common barriers in areas where access control occurs at tens, hundreds or thousands of points. The clearest example is electronic locks for hotel doors. Normally, access devices such as cards or Bluetooth technology on a Smartphone or numeric keypad are used. Similarly, electronic locks are common in other types of accommodation, such as holiday apartments or country cottage lets, since they allow the owner to rent the property with total security without the need to travel to deliver or collect the physical keys.

In addition to hotels, these systems are very common in work environments, such as offices, educational centres, institutional buildings and health centres.

Half-height turnstiles

These typically consist of 3 stainless steel arms activated with proximity cards, fingerprints, Bluetooth or another chosen system. They are very common in areas with a high throughput of people, such as gyms, swimming pools, sports centres, university residences and large office centres.

Full-height turnstiles

These are typically rotating “cage-like” structures, much larger and taller than half-height turnstiles. They are ideal for controlling access to an enclosure from the outside, since they allow people to enter one by one. Like the previous systems, they can be opened using various technological solutions, such as RFID cards, Bluetooth or by fingerprint. For example, they can be installed in amusement parks and leisure spaces, industrial areas or as access to means of transport.


These have access gates with a pedestrian barrier that opens automatically when access is authorised. They are usually installed in the same areas as the turnstiles whenever there is a high throughput of people. They are also very common for access to public transport, such as in subways and trains.

Vehicle access control barriers

Automatic parking barriers are another type of access control system that can be activated in various ways, including by licence plate recognition.

Access type for each customised project

When establishing an access control system, it is important to carefully study the most suitable type of barrier, as well as the mechanism that users will have to be able to enter.

Finally, a third key point is the access control software: the heart of the entire system. Once the physical components have been determined, an electronic system - in our case, based on Omnitec's OS ACCESS software - is integrated for the instant management of access control.

At Omnitec Systems, we work to provide the right solution for the integration of electronic devices with the chosen mechanisms. As each project is very different, the start-up of the installation and the materialisation of the access control plan are also customised.

Do you want more information? We’ll be happy to help you.