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Pandemic drives innovation in biometric digital door lock market



Mitigation efforts for COVID-19 are driving the global growth of the biometric fingerprint digital door locks market, as governments and public–private companies are looking into methods to reduce virus impact, according to QYR research. The research company investigated how government policy, trends, technological innovation, upcoming technologies and progress, as well as risk and roadblocks have been affected.

An analysis of the global smart lock market in February by Grand View Research, prior to the pandemic’s global spread, forecasts the market, which was valued at $1.2 billion in 2019 on 7 million units sold, to grow at an 18.5 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2027.

One of the innovations to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is a new in-possession medication distribution locker with biometric access connected to the prison scheduling system installed at the Therapeutic Centre at HMP Dovegate in the UK. To ensure social distancing, prisoners can take their medicine without having to meet with a nurse or doctor.

The system was developed by Serco, responsible for HMP Dovegate on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with Traka Group, Unilink and Care UK. The locker was provided by Traka, while Unilink provided the biometric software. Custodial officers, the healthcare provider, nursing and pharmacy specialists, IT, engineering, FM and prisoners participated in developing the project.

“COVID- 19 has presented new challenges around the delivery of medications within prisons and there will be a need to consider new ways of delivering essential medication services to prisoners,” said Serco’s Senior Health and Social Care Business Partner Hayley Peek in a prepared statement. “This Medical Distribution Locker concept will undoubtedly have a role to play and be one of the many innovations which will support our prisons after already proving to be hugely beneficial in this pilot phase. It is very encouraging that 80 percent of respondents found the lockers easy to use and we received some constructive suggestions for further enhancements.”

According to Peek, the goal was to understand how prisoners understand the medication process and see how a remote collection unit would change it. After a successful pilot, the system will be implemented across the entire prison with funding from the Prisoner Amenities Fund.

Swedish company Fingerprint Cards is also tapping into the smart door lock market for home and residential solutions by partnering with Chinese company Kaadas, who integrated its biometric fingerprint sensors with the Kadaas K10-W for fingerprint unlocking.

In 2017, Kadaas embedded the FPC1020 sensor in the Kaadas K8 Push Pull door lock. At the time, the company was named “China’s top smart home brand” at the Smart Home Construction Fair.

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