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An optical turnstile is a device used for physical security to prevent entry of unauthorized people into a building or room. It is a component of building access control system and is typically installed in the lobby – though it can also be added to any doorway to enhance security. It usually consists of a pair of pedestals that people pass through. A card reader which is connected to the building’s access control system is installed on or in the turnstile. People entering the building present their access card at the turnstile and, if it is a valid card, the system will allow one person to pass. The turnstile will indicate that the card has been accepted by lighting a green light. The person may now pass through the turnstile and enter the building. It is the function of the turnstile to determine how many people pass through so that it can sound an alarm if two people try to enter on a single valid card. The optical turnstile uses infra-red (IR) beams to detect the passage of people between the two pedestals.


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