The Technology Pandemic from QR codes, Visitor Management to Digital Tickets

The new normal, but not the kind we’re fed up with hearing about. The new normal where technology thrives in the built environment.
February 18, 2022

From helping to improve building safety and wellness to reducing commercial real estate carbon emissions, the adoption of technology is thriving. Even older technology has been given a new lease of life.

I can’t think of anything that’s had a better last couple of years than the QR code. Invented 26 years ago by Masahiro Hara an engineer at Denso Wave. The idea for the Quick Response code or QR code sprang from a lunchtime game of Go. He was playing the ancient game of strategy at work when the stones arranged on the board revealed the solution to a problem troubling the firm’s clients in Japan’s car industry. Hara had been fielding requests from factories to come up with better ways to manage their inventories of ever-expanding range of parts.

For years, businesses, marketeers and tech pioneers all over the world tried to drive QR code adoption. A few countries succeeded, most notably China, by the likes of WeChat Pay but it wasn’t until Coronavirus hit that it finally took off globally.

Since early 2020 QR codes have been deployed in everything, from customer check-ins at restaurants to digital menus and contactless payments, and used in contact-tracing apps in several countries, including the system used by the NHS.

At the virtual G20 summit, the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping even called for a “global mechanism” that would use QR codes to issue “health certificates” to revive international travel. Learn more about the latest COP26 summit and CRE’s responsibilities here.

There was no way of knowing in 1994 how smartphones and Covid-19 would make Hara’s invention so useful, but it now plays a major part in our lives. I wonder how the QR code will evolve over the next 25 years?

Touchless technology for employees and visitors

No surprises, but for us, an obvious area where technology can really come into its own, is ensuring entry into buildings is touchless and also at the sametime a more efficient, secure and an easy to manage process.

Not just for permanent staff, but also one-time or regular visitors from tradespeople to groups and individuals attending for a meeting or event. All Doordeck customers can benefit without even needing to download the app, they can scan the QR code in their smartphone’s browser and if they’ve been granted access to the Doordeck enabled door they’ll be able to enter. Alternatively, the visitor or employee can download the Doordeck app for even faster entry using NFC Keyless Entry. This method is favoured for everyday use by permanent staff and visitors.

And we’re not the only ones thinking of temporary visitor passes.

Since sporting events have been back on the agenda, there was a lot of talk about how to ensure sports fans actually enter the sporting grounds safely, efficiently and ideally without major costs to the sports sector. Once implemented, presumably the same approach known as digital ticketing would be used at music events, theatre shows, comedy gigs and much more, so no pressure, sports.

To our delight, we welcomed the magnificent Wembley Stadium to the world of contactless digital tickets and smartphone entry. The premise being that fans would be able to enter the stadium via tickets in their Apple Wallet and once in, pay for their refreshments via Apple Pay. The entry to the venue will, of course, need to be temporary, limited by time and date but also personal, in the sense that only the person with the specific ticket is able to enter. This is something Doordeck has been implementing successfully for a number of years.

We call it, digital visitor pass integration.

In a modern-day working world, we’ve all been to an office block where they either use iPads instead of receptionists or you wait around, spelling your name over and over, for them to be able to print you a physical visitor pass to go through the one door they let you access unescorted.

There are so many flaws with this scenario, from the huge amounts of time, money and resources temporary access cards swallow up, to the number of germs that must currently be having a whale of a time on that shared iPad.

Doordeck circumvents all of these pitfalls. With our solution, you are able to set up access for a new user in minutes, all you need is their email address. And all they need is their smartphone – no need to download our app, any browser will do.

The access granted can then either be taken away manually or set up to disengage automatically after a set period of time. The process can be repeated as many times as you need, there is no limit on the number of users that can be granted contactless door access to your building.

No more chasing after guests when they have forgotten to return their access card so that it can be reused (let’s not even think about the number of hands that will touch that card) or costly, painstaking replacement procedures to replenish lost keycards or fobs. Just think of all the time and ultimately money, your business could be saving.

If none of this has persuaded you, perhaps the environmental impact will.

According to ICMA’s 2020 report, the plastic card industry is now worth $27 billion. According to SAS, 8 million pieces of plastic pollution make it into our oceans EVERY day. I wouldn’t even want to think about how much of that pollution could be prevented, if plastic key cards and key fobs didn’t exist. Would you?

Learn more about Doordeck’s visitor management here, or get in touch to discuss more.

Marwan Kathayer
Head of Product