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Access control systems: from the origins to modern solutions

The working environment is facing a deep change, in the last months many of us have faced new challenges, turned their homes into offices, carried out different tasks and changed their habits. In this context technology has set itself as a de facto standard, it has allowed people to work from home, cut the distances and overcome obstacles. In a nutshell it has revolutionized the entire world of work! Now everyone is aware of the importance of the new technological solutions and the role they have in our society.The situation we are experiencing has highlighted fundamental aspects that were previously underestimated, such as the security of buildings, the need for flexibility, and the management of different businesses. All of these are of crucial importance nowadays, especially when it comes to modern work, or housing solutions, both in need of high flexibility and agility. Structures such as coworking, co-living and flexible spaces must be managed in a smart way, to always ensure a certain level of safety without sacrificing agility. Access control systems are fundamental technologies in this context because they guarantee security, but also simplify the management by managers and the use of the service by users. These systems are very widespread in the market, each has different features, and not every solution is the same in terms of reliability and safety.

The access control market

The market for access control has long been dominated by electronics companies, which proposed solutions based on locks as inactive components. Until now locks were only an object of external control. Today, technological innovation has largely modified the components and the functioning of access control systems. New companies have entered the industry offering solutions developed on modern standards that incorporate cutting-edge technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0. Today we have smart locks. These are all-in-one solutions, which means that cylinders, plates with handles, actuators and motorized locks are able to manage the validation of access requests, without connection to the mains and without wiring to the central system. In this way every kind of gate becomes smart and independent and can self manage all the logs of authorizations, without wiring! The integration of smartlock and cloud-native systems has finally brought a real revolution in the world of access control.

Which are the main features of a cloud-native access control system?

Cloud-native systems have many features that can meet the needs of different businesses. Below we will analyze in detail the individual features, focusing on the benefits and the advantages that can be obtained. From the point of view of the final user, the way people interact with spaces changes dramatically. Users can access the structures independently, thanks to mobile credentials on their smartphone, i.e. without having to go through the reception. In addition, they can interact with the spaces in real time, for example by booking workstations, checking their availability, and interacting with the services in the area of interest (Sofia Locks Bookey is a complete product that includes all these and other functions). It can be easily understood that these innovations allow to save staff costs and efforts. Managers and administrators can have a flexible and powerful system thanks to cloud-native solutions. Multi-site access control becomes effective, as buildings can be managed in real-time and remotely through an easy-to-use single panel. Remote management also improves the security and flexibility of buildings, as user permissions can be updated and modified immediately. Additional tools available to the manager are the user tracking and the display access statistics, which allow him to have a complete overview of the situation and updated statistics on the frequency and mode of use of space and resources.

Which are the possible applications of cloud-native systems?

These innovative systems are flexible and can easily adapt to different scenarios. Among them we have chosen some, the most representative for innovation: co-living and student housings, and coworkings and offices. We analyze in detail the main use cases:


Co-livings have established themselves in Europe in recent years, these structures respond to a dynamic lifestyle, where people share spaces and create communities. These solutions have been designed for the young population, which is always on the move and involved in challenging activities. They meet the needs of digital natives, who want to manage everything in a simple, smart and fast way. To be successful, co-living must have cutting-edge solutions, to keep up with the needs of their guests, as well as efficient and well-designed maintenance processes, to facilitate their management. Cloud-native access control systems are designed to meet the needs of flexible structures, allowing managers to coordinate resources in real time, to update access permissions at any time and to have statistics on the use of the structures. The mobile credentials provided to the users are personal and traceable, each move is recorded and verified, so as to increase the security of co-living and cut costs. Technological solutions also incentivizes the formation of communities. Co-livings welcome the champions of the sharing economy, the so called digital natives. They want to establish relationships, communicate and use digital tools. Cloud-native access control systems can also be an enabling tool. For example, through the Luckey application, users can access the scheduled events calendar in real time, book common areas, and reach the spaces of interest without difficulty.


The management of a coworking, similar to co-livings, is not as simple as it seems. It means caring for the customers’ satisfaction, and the efficiency and the security of the business. Spaces shall be flexible, user-accessible and equipped with related services. Technology also plays a key role for these structures, in this market the differentiation of the supply is crucial! A keyless access control system can be a competitive advantage, as it not only improves building security, but also flexibility. Sofia Locks’ cloud-native systems guarantee the same security standards of the e-banking systems, furthermore they are compliant with GDPR regulations. The functioning is intuitive, the manager can verify, update and change access permissions at any time thanks to the complete management interface. While users, to reach the desired spaces, can use the smartphone and access the gates through the application (e.g. Sofia Locks Luckey). In addition, to meet the safety standards and the today’s security needs, handsfree opening systems can be integrated, such as Sofia Locks Hypertag. It enables on any lock the opening via NFC or QR code.Thanks to their flexibility, cloud-native solutions facilitate the coordination of the different business sites: through a single panel, the manager can verify the activities of many coworking sites, even if located in other cities or countries. In this way it is possible to have an overall vision of the situation and of the activities of the enterprise.

What we do at Sofia Locks

We, at Sofia Locks, are aware of the importance of innovative solutions. They assist every activity of the working day, facilitate interactions and simplify daily activities. The success of many businesses, such as coworking and co-living, depends on these cutting-edge systems, that allows businesses to gain important competitive advantages, and create a welcoming and comfortable environment for users. Our solutions are designed to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving market, as they allow users and managers to interact with spaces in a smart way and reorganize them according to specific business needs.

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