New World Access Journey - Entry, Exit and Capacity Counting

22-Jul-2020 15:19:25

This week brings a much anticipated day for our industry. As many leisure centres in England prepare to finally open their doors on Saturday, after 4 long months, the rest of the UK will be watching on eagerly to see how things go. We all know it’s going to be different but no one really knows just how quickly consumers will return or how they will respond to the new-look offerings. You will no doubt be considering a multitude of things to ensure you can offer a safe and welcoming environment for your members to return to. As part of that exercise it is essential to consider the member journey through your facility and how that may have changed from a pre-COVID world.

During lockdown, we have been spending time evaluating the customer journey, especially around access control, attendance and check-in.  This has resulted in the advancement of new and improved solutions including facial recognition, location check-in and capacity control - some of which are ready to go, some which are in trial and yet more which we have been added to our road map. All of which will ensure you have the latest technology and hardware ready to deploy in the leisure facilities of the future. Our over-arching vision is to provide a range of software and hardware options to make joining, arriving, checking in, moving around and exiting your facilities as safe and smooth as possible for your members. And if we can improve the data you gather in the process, then we think we’ve done a pretty good job.

Let’s get back to that customer journey and see how it might have changed and where it all starts ….

Pre-booking is obviously going to be essential for clubs to operate safely and with restricted numbers; many of you will already be utilising our Connect and MobilePro products to facilitate this. Assuming this is all in hand, the next thing to consider is how the member arrives, checks in, moves though and finally exits your facility.

Questions you may be asking yourself right now might include:

  • Should we perform any health checks before allowing entry?
  • Are we accurately recording attendance for everyone who has pre-booked? (Allowing Track and trace should the need ever arise).
  • Once inside, are members going to the correct location for their activity?
  • Should we have a one-way system in place (at least temporarily) with different doors for entry and exit?
  • How many people are in the building right now?
  • How many people are currently in the gym or pool area?
  • Would members at home be interested to know how busy we are, before making a booking or travelling to site?
  • How do we know when members have left the building, so it’s safe to let more people in?
  • How can we keep physical touch points to an absolute minimum?

Well, I’m pleased to say we haven’t been resting on our laurels here at Gladstone and over the last few months we have been working hard to help answer these questions for you. We can now share the fruits of our labour with you and introduce some new products and applications to facilitate the New World member journey .....

What about Pre-Entry?

Hand sanitising stations are now a basic requirement at any public facility and should be clearly visible on entry with appropriate signage. Should you also be checking the temperatures of members or visitors prior to entry? This is not a requirement but if you want to add an extra level of protection, having a voluntary Hands-Free Thermometer on display may discourage symptomatic members attempting to enter your facility.

using the tempreture device

The hands-free nature of the thermometer we recommend, means your don’t have to pay a member of staff to stand and point a gun someone’s head as they come in (not a great welcome back message!). This should become self-policing and increase public confidence in the safety of your facility. Items available in the Gladstone Shop.

Next up is Access control

This is traditionally a way to automatically allow/deny entry based on bookings, membership status, infringements etc by controlling a physical barrier, like a turnstile or door lock. If you already have these physical barriers installed - great! You may just need to reconfigure them - perhaps allowing a single Entry lane, along with a suitably distanced Exit lane (to which you may wish to add a swipe-out reader, or a touchless exit button- both of which can be facilitated by our partners at ASP).

The way a customer identifies themselves at an entry point has become incredibly varied over the years and with our Multiple ID feature, you are no longer constrained to one option. Many operators are now offering members a range of ID options ranging from a barcode card or ticket to an RFID wristband or sticker on their mobile phone. We are now pushing the boundaries further….

Facial Recognition in action at Fusion LeisureCredit: Facial recognition in action at Fusion Leisure

Facial Recognition

We have been looking at this tech for a while but only now do we think it’s ready for market. We have been working with our partner Customer Clever to develop an interface between their Facial Recognition software, the Gladstone database and ASP’s access hardware. This has just been installed for trial at a customer site and we will be sharing the results of this as soon as centres are open again, and it can be fully tested. We are confident this will work well and can be brought to mass market very soon.

These options all still rely on the physical barriers being in place to allow/deny entry. But what if there are no barriers? Perhaps you don’t want or need physical access control, due to financial, operational or environmental constraints…but you still want to gather data. Then we think we have developed a perfect, affordable alternative....

Up till now, clubs without Access Control or Kiosks would rely on members checking in at reception by swiping their card and interacting with a member of staff to record attendance.

We are now pleased to bring you our new TapTablet. We have been working feverishly with our partners at ASP to develop this unattended, checkin/checkout device. Based on RFID technology this stand-alone tablet & reader combo runs our Gladstone360 access app and allows you to automatically check members in and OUT with the tap of contactless card, wristband, or mobile phone sticker.

Tap tablet with display options

This product is designed for 2 main use case scenarios:

  1. Entry and Exit monitoring for clubs where full, physical access barriers or self service Kiosks are not viable.
  2. Checking into particular areas within larger clubs, where you wish to obtain more accurate data about usage ... and display real time capacity of pre-determined zones (see below)!

The device itself is a Tablet and RFID reader combination with some clever firmware to trigger attendance recording without the need for a separate PC or control box. This makes these incredibly simple to install and configure – so much so that we envisage most of our experienced users will be able to do this themselves, although we will offer to support if required.


  • POE - Just hook up to a network point to enable data and power.
  • WiFi enabled – (requires plugged to mains power) For use at more remote or temporary locations.
  • Desktop and Wall Mounted option as standard.
  • Screen is locked with no customer facing access to data.
  • Configure with any message/image for positive or negative swipe (e.g. Green Please Enter. Red - contact staff member) 
  • Configure to ask a multiple choice question on entry or exit (e.g. use as customer satisfaction survey on exit

Note:  this device provides no other 360 functionality other than checkin/out. If other functions are required - like making bookings - please consider our entry level Kiosk.


  • Gladstone360 Access.
  • Network point or Wifi
  • RFID - cards - bands - stickers - fobs
  • Configuration - we offer a documented DIY option or a managed service

*If you are not already using RFID technology there is an easy migration path and we are offering Free Desktop RFID readers during this time, to help get you up and running. Remember RFID can be used not just for access but also for cashless payments, opening lockers and fitness kit login.

We think the TapTablets are exciting enough on their own! .... but when combined with a brand new Gladstone access feature, they really become a powerful tool in the quest to keep members informed and safe.

If you asked yourself any of the questions at the start of this blog, about wanting to know how many people are in your facility, monitoring particular zones and how to display this info to members… well, now you can!

Kid with Counting things -2

Capacity Counter -
Count, display, decide!

Our dev team have, in record time, built a brand new feature which will display a real time feed of the number of members within your building, or zone. This dashboard view can be displayed on a screen within the club as well as to members at home via Mobile Pro. This will monitor any entry/exit points configured in your system and calculate your real time occupancy. An entry point can be a turnstile, a kiosk... or a TapTablet! (There is also an option to calculate estimated occupancy using an ‘average time spent in centre’ setting). As well as monitoring the whole building, you can deploy multiple instances of the counter to ring fence particular zones like gyms, pools etc.

Combining the Capacity Counter with TapTablets will give you the most accurate live data from around your facility.  We think this will give both members and staff the confidence that your facility is running safely within whatever capacity limits you have set. Management can then make informed decisions about how to deploy resources based on real time usage data.

If you would like to learn more about these devices and solutions, contact Gordon Watson, ID Services Manager Tel.+44 (0) 8456 46 35 90.  Or visit the Gladstone Shop online


Are your routines Logged and Audited? 


There is still time to trial Centre Log for free until September '20. This suite of applications work together in unison as a facility action management solution; Task book, Incident book and Handover book. Including full reporting and a global dashboard for your site(s).  Apply your own policies and data structure (dept, people, centres) to align with your unique operational statutory framework. The solution is browser based, allowing it to be used on a tablet, enabling staff to easily check-off tasks or log incidents as they move about the centre when doing inspections.

Learn More

You May Also Like

These Stories on ID

Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think