San Jose State University (SJSU) has announced that it will use Natural Security’s biometric authentication solutions at the school’s Spartan Shops.
The solution will see SJSU students use their mobile phone along with biometric information stored on a secure element. Biometric authentication combined with mid-range contactless technology will be used to allow students access to residential dining halls.
The inclusion of mid-range contactless enables students to place a finger on a biometric reader located at the dining hall entrance without having to handle or remove their personal device from their pocket or purse. The user’s biometric data is only stored in the personal device, not in a backend database, meaning that the user’s personal data is always under their control.
Natural Security’s biometric solution enables for multiple user devices to be within the roughly 1.5 meter range of the biometric reader, but only completes the transaction of the user who applies their finger. The trick is that though the device storing the user’s unique biometric data does not need to be removed from a pocket or purse, it does need to be within range in order to carry out the transaction.
The decision to incorporate a biometric access control system is one based on efficiency as SJSU services nearly 2,500 unlimited-entry meal plan members. Natural Security’s dining hall initiative is set to commence in July 2013 and hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology as well as garner feedback from participants to determine future projects.
The school’s Spartan Shops provide retail and residential dining services to the SJSU Campus with the Residential Dining Commons alone recording in excess of 7,000 distinct student visits per day.
The initial trial will utilize an unreleased number of students, but pending success, SJSU plans to roll out the solution to all of its 3,000 students. Plans to expand the biometric access control solution to other parts of university — access to facilities, online resources, transit, etc.— are also being considered.
While the SJSU partnership will likely utilize the microSD and mobile device form factor, Natural Security is also piloting its biometric access control solution with banking institutions in France and the U.S. using fobs, smart cards and standard debit/credit cards with a sleeve.