Egypt has seen gated community development follow the same mass trend experienced in the United States. Over the past 30 years, more than 200 gated communities have been established along the coast and elsewhere. Most are privately built and maintained, including the walls, fences and access points - typically guarded or remote-controlled gates. As the Egyptian market need for controlled access grew, real estate developer Tiba approached Giza-based OG-Tech about a gate solution that would match the prestige of their La Vista 3 resort on the Red Sea east of Cairo. OG-Tech is a leading system integrator in the Middle East and Gulf area, founded in 2007 as an information technology firm within the Osman Group companies covering construction, trade, agriculture and more. OG-Tech is also one of Egypt's pioneers in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). For Tiba, OG-Tech built what would become the Smart Gate access control solution.
Smart Gate delivers hardware and software customized to the application - medium to long-range RFID readers, a variety of motorized gates, RFID tags for vehicles, a range of software packages and an encoding station to put vehicle data on each RFID tag. The solution was developed in just two months - six weeks to import the components and two weeks for installation, software development and training of the security people to use it. Today, it remains differentiated from other access control solutions in that it will grant access to moving vehicles and that it uses high-quality Windshield Tags from Metalcraft. OG-Tech engineer Maged Mourad found U.S.-based Metalcraft searching the Internet for RFID tags that would attach to windshields. He knew access cards would be misplaced by users, and wanted an RFID tag that is always adhered where it's needed. The Metalcraft Windshield tag helps OG-Tech identify vehicles at distances up to 10 meters and store vehicle-related data on each tag for extra security. Moreover, Metalcraft prints these tags customized for OG-Tech customers, providing an opportunity to promote a business or community with the logo, website, phone number and other information.
OG-Tech has completed six installations to date. All are a cost-effective means to maintain security while improving traffic flow at peak gate hours and automating data capture and reporting. Some installations are integrated with other on-site IT systems and some include cameras to capture gate events. They've also begun installing plasma screen TVs at gates to provide messages and reminders for resident while passing through the gate - reminding people to pay maintenance fees, for example. Mourad knows their solution fits anywhere there is a need for increased security - offices, manufacturing facilities and other locations where it's important to quickly and reliably verify the identity of vehicles while keeping things simple for managers and users. OG-Tech continues to add software and mechanical features like a tire killer. All installations rely on Metalcraft's Windshield RFID tag to durably perform in desert and coastal environments. "The Metalcraft tags are performing perfectly," said Mourad. Beyond the obvious benefits for security and efficiency, OG-Tech is finding gated communities are using the solution for marketing and profit, including reselling the reusable RFID tags to new residents. "Windshield stickers are a strong marketing tool for compounds," said Mourad. "These directly approach the targeted segment of people; all the friends of the compound resident will see it."