Palm reader

More colleges using Schlage Recognition Systems’ biometric handreader controls
By Bashar Masad
April 1, 2007

West Virginia University’s Student Recreation Center is using Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies’ biometric handreader technology, in GT 400 Biometric Terminaladdition to the card swiping system, to control access to the facility. HandKey readers simplify credential management and ensure that only authorized individuals enter the recreation center. 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,” says 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 center is probably the place where cards are most often lost.”

About five lost student ID cards are found by rec renter employees every day, prompting the switch to biometric access control, McDaniel says. Students, faculty and staff interested in using the handreader instead of their WVU identification cards first need to enroll in the program.

The reader has a flat platen with five embedded metal posts. 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 center patrons no longer use their ID cards to gain admittance; the scanner lets them in.
When entering the facility, students first enter their WVU identification number into the HandKey’s keypad and 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 says. “Now, students don’t forget their hand because they have it with them.”
Handreader used to identify students at Johnson & Wales University.
About 30 percent to 40 percent of students coming into the rec center have signed up for the handreader system, says McDaniel. 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,” he says. “If incoming freshmen and other underclassmen sign up for this system, it will probably reduce lines and lost cards significantly.” 

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

Similar systems are in use at recreation centers at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., 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.  Visit for more information.

The author is director of marketing, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Schlage Recognition Systems, 1520 Dell Ave., Campbell, CA 95008, 408/341-4100,,