In some applications ‘traditional’ panel/controller based Electronic Access Control are difficult to justify the total cost. After the costs of hardware, cabling, installation, and training are all tallied, it is not uncommon to spend upwards of $2500 USD per controlled opening (i.e. door, gate, entry, etc...). This can quite simply prove to be too expensive to consider, no matter the need.
In other applications, installation of the prevalent form factor Access Control equipment (Controller Panels, Power Supplies, Card Readers, etc) may be difficult or impossible. In still other cases (such as records storage cabinets or controlled substance carts), there might be a need to indeed ‘control access’ only to the same degree that keys and locks already provide, but provide additional features such as scheduling controls and audit trails against the opening.