|Ingersoll Rand's HandKey hand readers were installed in the university's food-service area
The University of Georgia has been a pioneer in adopting biometrics; it had been using two-dimensional hand geometry since 1972. When it was time to replace the school's old hand readers in 1990, the administration evaluated various biometrics technologies, such as facial, hand, fingerprint, iris and signature devices.
The university needed an access-control system that was fast, easy to use and foolproof. And to provide a safe, secure campus, the school wanted to identify students entering residence halls and athletic facilities and to limit dining-hall access to students who paid for a meal plan. Ingersoll Rand's HandKey hand reader was the answer.
Donald Smith, program coordinator of UGACard support systems, said, "We could rely on a person for access control, but the biometric device is more accurate, faster and more cost-effective."
The first readers were installed in the university's food-service area. Students can choose to enter their ID number using the HandKey's numeric keypad or by swiping their magnetic stripe card. According to Donald Smith, this versatility is one reason the system has a high level of acceptance among the students.
Based on the HandKey's success in the food-service area, the University installed a similar system to control access to the Ramsey Centre, a recreational sports facility. Then for its housing facilities, the school tightened security by replacing magnetic stripe-only readers with RSI's HandReaders and requiring that a student's ID card be used to enter his or her ID number.
The university found it easy to adapt the HandKeys to the various applications in the three areas. For housing, some outer doors are controlled by a weather-resistant HandKey, and standard indoor readers control access to the residence wings. At the Ramsey Centre, two of the outdoor HandKeys control outer doors, and others inside the building control entry at turnstiles.
To achieve an extra level of security, magnetic-stripe card readers are mounted on top of the HandKeys. The combination works so well that the school now has more than 40 Ingersoll Rand HandKey hand readers installed in the three areas.