New Product: Free Flow Turnstile (dFlow)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 05, 2016

A new turnstile uses a totally different approach for access control than anything else on the market. Instead of unlocking to let people through, it slams closed on unauthorized users.

However, the developer says this approach is fundamentally better than traditional units and claims security is just as good, if not better. And it uses high-tech sensors to support those claims.

In this note, we look at Digicon's dFlow Turnstile, examine how it differs from typical units, and see if it really is the game-changer it claims to be.

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Comments (21)

Since 1961 this type of turnstile has been used at the USSR subway stations

I posted the first video I found. This one is broken but it shows how it works.

This type of turnstiles worked well but it was dangerous and a bit scary )

Holy cow, that thing looks like it could break legs.

I am curious how/why the turnbuckles close? A bad card/token read? Motion detectors?

It was painful but usually it closed before you reached the point when it could hit you.

It worked with coins, then tokens, then cards. You can see holes from each side these are sensors. And this retro video shows the process.

Ask dFlow if their fancy Terahertz scanner can put a stop to such low-tech exploits such as the one at the 2 minute mark in the retro video, one that is clearly vulnerable to mixed-pair figure skaters.

I would try it how it handles these situations:

One of the Soviet innovations that came from the Space Race no doubt.

We got Tang, they got state-of-the-art access control.

And this is technology that wouldn't be duplicated for another 50 years.

Konstantin, can you explain how this was supposed to be an improvement, at least in theory, on just opening on authentication?

With the dFlow it makes sense, since you can have multiple people going thru with little gap between them, but here since everyone has to present auth of some sort, and the gap between the "reader" and the gate is large enough and the gate closes quick enough, there seems ample time to open for each person.

Plus, the time saved from the reauth runaround process would make it even faster, no?

Sure, it might save energy, but was that the main objective?

Konstantin, can you explain how this was supposed to be an improvement, at least in theory, on just opening on authentication?

Did I say somewhere that it is an improvement? Personally I see no serious difference between them. In theory dFlow can have higher throughput but I doubt that in real life there will be significant difference.

From a user point of view I think that scheme: "stop - present credential - see gates opening - start moving" is better than "present credentials on the go - be stopped by gates -try to reach the reader through the people stacked behind you".

Did I say somewhere that it is an improvement?

Did I say somewhere you did? :)

But, I am actually wondering what the Soviets had in mind when they rolled this thing out. Was it intended to speed things up, save power, or just whack people in the crotch at random to keep 'em guessing?

It was chosen from 32 projects in 1957 and I believe this choice was based on the level of technology at that time.

Now it depends on a country and city. This photo is from the Moscow subway.

Why are they closed?

Because it is a different type.

Although looking vaguely Egyptian, this is yet another Russian turnstile innovation, though a bit lower-tech.

Apparently most fare jumpers are male...

I like this approach where life safety codes make it difficult to put in a traditional turnstile

As a man, I'm not comfortable with anything flying towards my nether regions.

As a man, I'm not comfortable with anything flying towards my nether regions.

As Konstantin says above, it's only painful when it hits you.

As for the dFlow, it's an adaptive response based on real-time data from 3d sensors, so you should be fine. Anyway, if I'm not mistaken that board is sourced from the leader in the field, Johnson Controls, whose name speaks for itself.

Eagerly looking forward to their Yosemite Sam trapdoor variant!

Am I the only one who likes the potential in this approach? I have run into projects that life safety codes prohibited anything other than an optical approach rather than physical - this would probably work in that application.

Can you please clarify what difference from the point of life safety codes you see between this product and other turnstiles?

If it is Card In/Out then there has to be an emergency door (or alternative) because even dFlow wings are not closed they will close in front of a person without the right credential. If it is Card In only then again there is no difference between turnstiles because all of them will allow free egress.

Am I missing something?

dFlow has a fire-alarm override contact and can be used in 'card-in' configurations only.

The turnstiles in the dflow videos I saw look like they are meant to keep people from entering unauthorized and allow free egress - they aren't even deployed until approached without authorization- wonder if you even need to deal with an override in this setup.

If your customer does not want "physical" then you can propose them something like this

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