Bridging The Gap Between Mechanical And Electronic Security

Feb. 8, 2011

Medeco’s Hybrid product line, released in 2008, was developed in conjunction with HID, an Assa Abloy sister company and a leader in RFID technology.  Medeco approached HID with a demanding requirement which was to build an RFID reader which could fit a standard rim or mortise application.  HID responded by, overcoming all of the technical challenges and, delivering the world’s smallest RFID reader.

The Hybrid cylinder combines the HID 125 KHz reader with a Medeco mechanical retrofit cylinder.  It is available in both rim and mortise cylinders and can be purchased in all Medeco mechanical technologies. 

The Hybrid key has a standard Medeco mechanical blade with an HID RFID chip imbedded in the bow.  So when you insert the key, the mechanical cylinder and key must match. Then the RFID chip in the bow of the key will have a digital conversation with the HID RFID reader in the cylinder.  The RFID reader then verifies that the credential that is inserted has access rights to open the cylinder at that time and then removes an electronic blocking mechanism, allowing the plug to rotate.

With the Hybrid system you can install a retrofit system that will allow the customer to bridge multiple technologies. The Hybrid key will operate HID PROX 26 BIT readers, high security and key control cylinders as well as a Hybrid cylinder.     

The Hybrid system is programmed using the Hybrid Manager Software, a Windows-based tool that allows you to make adjustments to the access rights of your hybrid system and also control the distribution of Hybrid keys.  Using intuitive programming screens, you can very simply hand out keys and assign what openings that person will have access to at the same time.  You would then simply go to the Hybrid cylinder and upload the new programming information via infrared communications. 

Hybrid keys can be configured to operate hardwired HID readers, offline Hybrid cylinders and Medeco mechanical cylinders such as Medeco3, KeyMark and BiLevel.  The proximity device in the Hybrid key head is based on the popular 125 kHz, 26 bit technology and also the powerful iClass technology is available.  The Hybrid credential is available in several variations, allowing the user to upgrade or downgrade the credential as the need prescribes.  The dual-function credential conveniently bridges the gap between mechanical and electronic security. Hybrid keys allow for lower system maintenance costs to replace lost or damaged separate credentials. Few credentials to track with one dual function credential for electronic and mechanical security.

Medeco Hybrid cylinders provide audit and access control flexibility to doors without any wiring, door or frame modification, special installation or excessive cost. They combine the ease of installation of a rim or mortise cylinder with the accountability provided by an audit trail and the flexibility of an HID Prox-based access control system.

Medeco Hybrid products are mobile, as requirements change so can the solution.  For example, if you had a customer who wanted the security of a Medeco3 mechanical system on his facility, you could install the M3 system and use Hybrid keys with “Dummy” heads.  If at any point in the future the customer wanted to add the convenience of HID RFID readers to exterior doors, you would simply upgrade the head of the key to a live 125 KHz proximity head and the customer would still have a single credential for every opening in their building.  If the customer then had a requirement for audit trail capability on an interior door but could not afford the high cost of wiring for electronic access control, you could install a Hybrid cylinder and fulfill the customer’s needs for a fraction of the cost.  So Hybrid is a product that can fill a gap in typical Electronic Access Control systems by bridging mechanical and electronic systems.


Aperio  is a new technology under development that enables Hybrid cylinders to be wirelessly linked to an existing access control system.  Aperio provides low -cost standalone access control in a retrofit package utilizing HID iClass technology and wireless communications. 

With Aperio the Hybrid cylinder will communicate with Electronic Access Controllers via a wireless hub with a Weigand interface.  Access decisions are made in real time by the controller and relayed to the cylinder.  This will allow administration to make system changes instantaneously, locking out individuals with the click of a mouse.  Also audit information will be available at any time, giving administration a snapshot of who is or is not in the facility at a given time. 

Simple installation, auditing and scheduling are just a few features available with Medeco E-cylinders. In comparing system installation, maintenance, and operating costs Medeco E-cylinder is a very cost effective solution for many facilities.  Medeco E- cylinders are mobile, not tied to a wire or specific location.  As departments grow and move within a facility, they can take their Medeco E-cylinders with them.  Medeco E-cylinders offer quick and simple installations.. Installation can be done in minutes