Walk-in with a selfie: making facility access convenient and secure – an interview with Joakim Langhard, one of the owners of CrossFit Täby

Following the successful launch of Precise YOUNiQ for access last year, we spoke to Joakim Langhard, one of the owners of CrossFit Täby in Stockholm, Sweden where the new technology is being piloted. Using facial recognition, employees, visitors and members can now be conveniently and securely granted access to the gym and its facilities.

Tell us about CrossFit Täby and the challenges you face in enabling access to your gym?

At CrossFit Täby we are specialists in CrossFit training, providing expertise for all our members – young and old, from beginners to contestants in the discipline – with knowledge and health as our central focus. It’s a busy gym as we provide several instructor-led workouts each day as well as an open gym for our members to use as they wish with a rig and free weight area plus weight and exercise machines.

Our staff are available from Tuesday – Friday from 10.00 – 15.00. We know however that not all of our members can attend the gym at these times so the facility is open for them to use at any time between 05:00 and 23:00 to suit their personal schedules. The challenge we’ve been trying to overcome is that once a customer buys their membership via our website, they then have to come here to meet one of our staff to be registered and provided with a security access tag which allows them to enter the gym. As well as taking time, this just isn’t convenient for our customers.

Then, once members or new employees have been granted access in this way, they will sometimes lose or forget their access tag, so a new or temporary one has to be issued – with further inconvenience and admin costs. Finally, even though the initial process of access and identity checking has been carried out correctly, you simply can’t be certain that the correct person has entered by relying on this method of using the tag since they can be stolen or borrowed, allowing the wrong person to enter.

How is using Precise YOUNiQ helping to solve these challenges?

Precise YOUNiQ will make it much easier for us by remotely asking a customer or new staff member to register their face and linking them to an account in our access system. They can subsequently gain access using the facial recognition system without us having to meet them in person to issue a tag and they won’t need to worry about losing or forgetting it.

What benefits are you expecting as a result of using Precise YOUNiQ?

By using this facial recognition system we’ll have greater security; stolen tags can’t be used to access the facilities and members cannot lend their tag to friends or relatives. Plus we will no longer have the issue of members not being able to enter the gym if they have lost or forgotten their security tag.  It is also helping us to be more efficient and improves the experience for our members, for example as a member approaches the camera and they are recognized, they will be automatically checked in on one of our training sessions. Even if several members walk through the door at the same time, the facial recognition system will be able to identify all the members correctly enabling the system to process their access in line with their membership and training card. It’s a very smooth experience for everyone!

What are the next steps for the pilot?

At the moment we are piloting the system with the gym management and coaches. The next step is to integrate Precise YOUNiQ with our access and gym system for members. We are in a close dialogue with the Precise team and there will be some updates going forward, such as an admin tool to enable a convenient and secure remote enrolment for our members. Once the new software is implemented we’ll be moving on to test the systems together with our own access system. Exciting times are ahead and I’m looking forward to sharing the new access system and all the benefits it brings with our members once we are ready to start using it with everyone.