Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Schlage Recognition Systems biometric hand reader controls access to West Virginia University Recreation Center

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

West Virginia University is controlling access to its recreation center with biometric hand readers supplied by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. The readers mean students don’t need to bring their ID cards to the rec center where, according to the university, at least five ID cards were lost daily.

Student Convenience Critical Factor in Choosing Biometric Technology

CAMPBELL, CALIF.–Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies announced that West Virginia University’s Student Recreation Center 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 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,” 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 Center is probably the place where cards are most often lost.”

McDaniel said about five lost student ID cards are found by Rec Center 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 enroll 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 Center 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 Center 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 centers 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. Website is

About Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies Ingersoll Rand’s Security Technologies Sector is a leading global provider of products and services that make environments safe, secure and productive. The sector’s market-leading products include electronic and biometric access-control systems; time-and-attendance and personnel scheduling systems; mechanical locks; portable security; door closers, exit devices, architectural hardware, and steel doors and frames; and other technologies and services for global security markets. Website is

Ingersoll Rand is a leading diversified industrial company providing products, services and integrated solutions to industries ranging from transportation and manufacturing to food retailing, construction, and agriculture. With a 135-year-old heritage of technological innovation, we help companies worldwide to be more productive, efficient and innovative. In every line of our business, Ingersoll Rand enables companies and their customers to create progress. [end] 

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