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Turnstiles are a type of security gate that allows a person with proper credentials to pass through the entrance and restrict passage to unauthorized guests. This technology often integrates with other intelligent security systems to manage the flow of people in various settings.

This technology is necessary in fast-paced environments where security concerns are common, such as office buildings, class-A high rises, government institutions, and university campuses. Optical turnstiles offer a controlled and monitored way of entry and exit, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive areas.

Different Types of Turnstiles and Their Uses in Various Settings

Turnstiles come in several designs, each tailored to meet unique security requirements. Key types include:

  • Full Height Turnstile: A high security gate, also known as a “people shredder,” these turnstiles extend from the floor to ceiling height. These models are ideal for locations requiring strict security, such as subways, designed to completely restrict passage from unauthorized personnel.
  • Tripod Turnstile: This type of equipment, also known as a waist-high turnstile, consists of three revolving arms that rotate to restrict one person entering at a time. Tripod turnstiles are commonly found in outdoor environments such as amusement parks.
  • Optical Turnstile: This sleek and modern waist-height turnstile utilizes infrared beams to detect tailgating. Cost-effective and compact, optical turnstiles are common in office buildings and educational facilities for their combination of security and speed.
  • Dual Barrier Turnstile: Advanced turnstile unit effective in eliminating unauthorized entry through its double barrier gates. Otherwise known as a “mantrap,” this high enforcement turnstile is ideal for high security areas like data centers and manufacturing facilities.

Role in Crowd Control and Unauthorized Access Prevention

Access control turnstiles are essential equipment for crowd management because they ensure organized, safe entry and exit during busy hours. Turnstiles streamline the flow of traffic in a single direction and reduce congestion, which enhances the overall user experience.

Innovations in Turnstile Technology

Turnstiles are more than just physical barriers; they are integral parts of an advanced security system. There are several groundbreaking features in Smarter Security’s optical turnstiles, including pressure sensor tops and tailgate detection. Fastlane pressure sensors detect attempts to sneak in and climb over the turnstile pedestals. With ¼” tailgate detection capable of distinguishing humans from objects, prevent an unauthorized person from entering a restricted area, and reduce false alarms.

Another innovative system is SmarterLobby. This technology weighs critical information from multiple data points and brings it together on one system, streamlining the security overview processes. It operates in lobby environments with existing access control systems and elevates security by ensuring guards have direct access to necessary intelligence.

Integrated Technologies Enhancing Turnstiles

Today, turnstiles are part of a broader security strategy. Our turnstiles seamlessly integrate with various technologies like proximity card readers, security cameras, destination dispatch displays, and biometric scanners. With the possibilities expanding to 3D fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, to facial recognition credentialing, eliminate problems like passbacks and badge theft while increasing convenience for users.

Technology integration creates a multi-layered security approach, which is important in environments where security is a high priority. Using this neural network technology approach enhances the accuracy and overall security system.


Pictured: White Glassgate 155 with Idemia Morpho Wave Fingerprint Scanner

Case Study: Entrance Turnstiles Revolutionize Security at 55 Hudson Yards

55 Hudson Yards is a towering 51-story office building in New York City. Every day, hundreds to thousands of people pass through its doors. The big challenge was managing all the people moving in and out of the building quickly and safely. They needed a system that could check people’s identities fast without creating long lines.

The client wanted a system that let people get through the turnstiles smoothly without waiting too long. Smarter Security had the perfect solution, the Fastlane Plus 400 MA turnstile combined with MorphoWave technology. This technology lets people just wave their hand over a scanner to get through the turnstile. It’s touchless, so people don’t need to use a card to gain access. This made things much quicker and more secure.

The turnstiles with MorphoWave were set up in the main lobbies with extra features like screens showing which elevator to take. People who visit 55 Hudson Yards really enjoy the new system because it’s fast, aesthetically pleasing, and it helps keep the building safe.

Choosing the Right Turnstile for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting the perfect turnstile for your facility, it’s important to understand your specific security needs and assess the volume of foot traffic at the location. High-security environments like data centers often require a more detailed security program. Dual barrier turnstiles are excellent equipment for controlling visitor access to sensitive areas. In locations like lobbies and high rises where aesthetics are important, optical turnstiles might be the more suitable choice. These turnstiles blend security with a modern, unobtrusive design. The volume of foot traffic is also a key factor in turnstile selection. Optical turnstiles efficiently manage the flow of large crowds on university campuses and other busy environments.

Another important aspect to consider is how the turnstile gate integrates into your existing security system. A security turnstile should easily interact with access control systems and surveillance cameras to create a comprehensive security strategy that operates efficiently and effectively.


Pictured: Smarter Security Dual Barrier Fastlane Interlock 

Smarter Security’s Optical Turnstiles

Our Fastlane optical turnstiles are intelligent systems that enhance your entrance and access control systems. The use of advanced neural network technology sets our products apart in the market. This technology allows turnstiles to automate the most advanced security protocols and ensure a seamless flow of traffic.


Smarter Security offers expert consultation services and helps facilities identify the best turnstile solution for their specific environment. Our extensive expertise across various industries allows us to provide tailored advice and ensure that each client’s security needs are met.


We also offer customization options for our turnstiles. This approach ensures that the turnstile is not only functionally effective but also complements the aesthetic of the building. Depending on the type of turnstile, there are various custom finishes available to choose from. You can choose from stainless steel and other metals for a customized integration.

Smarter Security’s optical turnstiles represent a combination of advanced technology, customization, and effective access control. Reach out to Smarter Security today to find the perfect turnstile for your organization’s needs.

About the Reviewer:

Clayton Brown serves as Executive Vice President at Smarter Security, the leading provider of hand-crafted optical turnstiles, and is a co-founder of ReconaSense, the only FICAM-certified risk-adaptive physical access control solution (RAdPACS) using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. As a member of SIA’s Government Relations Committee and Data Privacy Board, Clayton proudly represents the next generation of practitioners dedicated to bringing data-driven ideas to existing physical security challenges.


  1. Smarter Security.
  2. “Smarter Security Solves ‘Sidegating’, New Optical Turnstile Technology.” Campus Safety.


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Jennifer Spall Digital Marketing Coordinator
Jennifer Spall is a multidisciplinary digital strategist with combined experience in technology, marketing, and design. She has succeeded in various positions scoring top metrics and solving complex challenges through innovative approach. With intention behind her work, Spall's mission is to be a positive change maker to the industries she serves.