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Hybrid System Manages Access Control for Mexican High School

Guadalajara's Cervantes High School has launched a Near Field Communication and Bluetooth Low Energy solution at its entrance to manage the access of staff members and students, either with a smart ID badge or simply with an app on a BLE-enabled phone.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 04, 2017

Cervantes High School (Colegio Cervantes), in Guadalajara, Mexico, launched the school year this fall with a hybrid system based on Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies, to manage the movements of its students and staff into its campus. The solution, provided by Mexican systems integrator Amcorp Security Group Mexico, utilizes wireless access-control technology from HID Global, known as HID Mobile Access. The system consists of both NFC-enabled iCLASS Seos smart cards and BLE-based applications to provide two ways for people to present their credentials.

Since the system was taken live, it has made the school a showcase institution for other schools and organizations looking to improve access control and safety management, says Alejandro González González, Cervantes High School's principal. The technology has enabled the school to ensure that unauthorized individuals cannot enter the campus, and to better understand who is on campus at any given time, and for how long.

Prior to the system's installation, Cervantes High School wanted to have a safer campus without compromising the user experience, says Harm Radstaak, HID Global's VP and managing director for physical access control. The school consists of an open campus, meaning visitors could easily access the grounds. However, he notes, the open environment has posed security risks for students, employees and property. For instance, the school had been experiencing an uptick in on-campus theft.

Earlier this year, the school approached Amcorp Security Group and said it had several requirements for the solution it sought to implement. While it wanted to better manage who came and went from the campus, it did not want to create bottlenecks or confusion. The school also required that any technology-based solution would not make daily entrance to the facility more difficult for its roughly 1,500 students, teachers, administrative personnel and service employees.

Harm Radstaak
Those accessing the school range from young, technology-savvy students to older personnel who may not be comfortable with mobile app-based technologies. The school thus sought a system that anyone could easily understand, regardless of their level of comfort.

The system that the high school opted to deploy consists of 1,500 NFC-enabled HID Global Seos cards, as well as a BLE-based mobile app, thereby providing an option for individuals to use the badge or their mobile phone for identification. ID Global's multiCLASS SE readers are installed at the school's entrance and exit, with built-in 13.56 MHz NFC readers compliant with the ISO 14443 standard. They also come with BLE beacons that transmit a unique signal to BLE-enabled phones.

In time for the school year this fall, Amcorp installed the multiCLASS SE readers at the entrance, where individuals walk through turnstiles. With the system in place, a user first provides the school with his or her cell phone number or e-mail address. That inividual can then receive an invitation to register his or her phone. Upon opening that invitation, he or she is instructed to download the mobile app for the iOS or Android device. That person can then retrieve a mobile credential in the form of a unique ID number.

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