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Biometrics - News

Schlage Recognition Systems biometric handreader controls access to West Virginia University Recreation Centre

Published on 26 June, 2006

Student convenience critical factor in choosing Biometric Technology

Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies today announced that West Virginia University's Student Recreation Centre is using its biometric handreader technology, in addition to the card swiping system already in place, to control access to the facility.  HandKey readers simplify credential management and ensure that only authorized individuals enter the recreation centre.  Handreaders automatically take a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of a hand and verify the user's identity in less than one second. 

"The primary reason that we brought in this device was convenience for students," said Carolyn McDaniel, assistant director of Student Affairs Business Operations.  "The students have said that they don't want to bring their card. It is one more thing for them to keep track of.  The Rec Centre is probably the place where cards are most often lost."

McDaniel said about five lost student ID cards are found by Rec Centre employees every day, prompting the switch to biometric access control.  Students, faculty and staff interested in using the handreader instead of their WVU identification cards first enrol in the program. 

The reader has a flat platen with five metal posts embedded in it.  When registering for the service, the user places his or her hand on the platen with each finger touching a corresponding post.  Three measurements are taken and the average is saved to the student's account.  Once registered for the program, Rec Centre patrons no longer use their ID cards to gain admittance; only the scanner lets them in.

When entering the facility, students first enter their WVU identification number into the HandKey's keypad, then place their hand on the platen for approval.

"We looked into the best way to solve this problem and biometric hand geometry was the best way to go," McDaniel said.  "Now students don't forget their hand because they have it with them."

According to McDaniel, about 30 to 40 percent of students coming into the Rec Centre have signed up for the handreader system.  A 40 percent sign up for the biometric system will keep lines moving ideally.

Senior Jon Jaraiedi is already sold on the biometric handreader.

"I think this is a very positive thing, especially for new students coming in.  If incoming freshmen and other underclassmen sign up for this system, it will probably reduce lines and lost cards significantly," he said.

The project cost about $15,000 for the HandKey handreader, a new turnstile, several registration scanners and installation.  WVU Dining Services has also expressed an interest in the technology for students with meal plans.

Similar systems are in use at recreation centres at the University of Georgia, San Diego State University and other colleges throughout the nation.

Schlage Recognition Systems was named a recent recipient of the Application Market Penetration Leadership Award for access control and time and attendance applications in Frost & Sullivan's study, World Biometrics Market.

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