MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Diebold, Incorporated (NYSE: DBD), a company known by most colleges and universities for its CS Gold(TM) single card identification system that allows students to use their cards for a variety of activities from access control to meal plans and stored value, just announced another innovative service that will be tested for the first time at West Virginia University.
Diebold is a global leader in providing integrated, self-service and security systems for banks, hospitals and government agencies. The company installed a biometric hand geometry reader by Recognition Systems, Inc. over the holiday break at WVU’s Boreman North Residence Hall that will allow students living there to gain access with a user-friendly scan of the hand.
After further testing and additional software interfaces, the system will also be installed at the Student Recreation Center this semester – site of today’s official launch and demonstration. WVU President David C. Hardesty, Jr. and Wesley B. Vance, Diebold’s chief operating officer, were on hand to sign a memorandum of understanding and explain the concept.
“WVU has partnered successfully with Diebold since 1995 with the use of the Mountaineer Card system, which allows our students to do a variety of things from purchasing meals at campus restaurants and items at the bookstore, to riding the Personal Rapid Transit System (PRT) and gaining entry into athletic contests,” Hardesty said. “This innovative electronic security system for the residence hall and campus recreation center is just another example of how this company is changing the way we do things to make life more secure, convenient and accessible for our students.”
Vance said Diebold was eager to pilot different types of cutting-edge, human factors technology – in this case, hand geometry – on a university campus that is a “proven front-runner” in the high-tech world of forensic identification and biometrics.
“We’ve heard so much about WVU’s first-of-its kind degrees in forensic identification and biometrics that is seemed a natural fit to add this type of high-tech service system to the WVU campus and complement what the school is doing on the academic side of the house,” Vance said. “Diebold is looking forward to working with WVU on issues ranging from cost of deployment to privacy concerns and usability, while focusing on enhancing student life and security on campus.”
“It’s exciting when the private sector and higher education can collaborate like this, and we are pleased our technology is playing such a role in the advancement of campus security,” Vance added.
Hardesty welcomed the addition, and noted that WVU uses a retina scan keyless entry at the school’s Crime Scene House and just added an advanced automated fingerprint identification system to the program’s forensic research facility.
The hand geometry system is easy to use, explained Bret Tobey, Diebold’s senior product manager for Card Systems, as Student Government Association leaders Chris Gregory and Don McIntyre, along with Boreman North residents Sara Prutsok and Brandi Shaner demonstrated. Prutsok is a junior English major from Summersville, W.Va.; Shaner is a sophomore psychology major from Hughesville, Pa.
Students simply enter their pre-selected, five-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN), and then place their hand in the reader. The scanner takes more than 90 measurements of the hand in terms of length, width, thickness and surface area in the span of one second. If the hand is authenticated the door unlocks (or, in the case of the Rec Center, the turnstile opens).
The technology is currently being used successfully at banks, primarily in safe deposit areas, Tobey said.
The Boreman system goes operational Friday; the Rec Center reader will likely be operational within two months for Boreman residents. Upon success of the pilot project and additional software integration, other campus students and Rec Center members will be able to use the hand geometry reader. Participation in this phase of the project is totally voluntary, so if students or Rec Center members prefer to use their ID cards, they may continue to do so, officials noted.
“We wanted to test this integrated system in one of WVU’s smaller residence halls first and also at the Rec Center before launching it campus wide,” said Amir Mohammadi, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “We think people are going to like it. As we’ve said, it is not intrusive. It is a fast, safe and secure way to enter these facilities. No one can steal your hand identity like they can steal and use your ID card.”
In keeping with the university’s student-centered philosophy, by the fall of 2003, WVU plans to enhance student systems by installing biometrics in all residence halls, and will also be exploring use of biometrics in the dining halls, vending areas, computer labs and athletic venues. “The possibilities are endless,” Mohammadi said.
Also on hand for the announcement and demonstration was Mike Garrison, Chief of Staff to West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, who commented, “Through this project, which promises greater safety and security for students, WVU is using state-of-the-art technology to enhance customer service. Gov. Wise is pleased with the leading role WVU is playing in adopting biometric technology and by this latest example of the university’s willingness to partner with industry and other groups to better serve its stakeholders.”
Diebold, Incorporated, founded in 1859 as a manufacturer of high-quality safes and vaults, and headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, is a global leader in integrated self-service and security solutions, such as touch-screen voting systems, ATM networks and card systems, and other electronic security applications. Diebold employs more than 13,000 associates with representation in more than 88 countries worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.diebold.com.
A couple of interesting notes about Diebold: The company secures the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Institution, along with the Charters of Freedom – the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. The company also pioneered the first iris recognition ATM in existence. In November 2002, the company made history with the State of Georgia, where 3.7 million registered voters in 159 counties successfully voted on Diebold touch-screen stations. SOURCE Diebold, Incorporated
CONTACT: Media, Barbra Gonzalez of Diebold, +1-330-490-6786, or [email protected], or Becky Lofstead of WVU Communications, +1-304-293-6997; or Investors, Michelle Griggy of Diebold, +1-330-490-3773, or [email protected]