While using a hand instead of an ID card to gain entrance to university facilities, particularly recreation centers, is gaining prominence, a pioneer in the use of hand scanners, San Diego State University, has been using the devices since 1998. That’s when Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies installed 12 hand geometry readers at the six entrances to SDUS’s Aztec Recreation Center and the four entrances to the school’s Aquaplex.
A major advantage of the scanners is that it minimizes a student’s ability to transfer his ID to another person for admission to the center. “ID switching is very big in the fitness club industry,” said Vicki Greene, member services coordinator for the Associated Students of SDSU, the independent student-directed corporation that runs the center. “No longer do our members have to remember to bring an ID card. This also means we don’t need to have an employee out front checking cards.”
She said the hand scanner is also the “least invasive of the biometric technologies.”
Instead of verifying a card or code, Ingersoll’s HandKey readers verify the person who is at the entrance. It looks at the three-dimensional size and shape of a member’s hand. The result of 90 hand measurements, including lengths, widths, thickness and surface areas, is converted into a nine-byte mathematical representation of the hand, which is stored as a template for later use and verification.
To enter the facilities, a student simply enters his ID number on the HandKey’s keypad and presents his hand to gain entry. Verification takes only a second.
The HandKey readers are networked using Schlage HandNet Lite, a free biometric template administration software package for distributing the hand geometry templates across the network, allowing a member to enter any of the approved entrances.