Iowa’s Wartburg College spent the month of November trialling biometric access at its dining facility, with a view to test the systems efficiency and potentially implement the system in the near future.
According to a report from The Circuit, Wartburg dining services tested the a fingerprint system using a small test group comprised of student senate members. Mensa during the month of November, Margaret Empie, the assistant vice president for dining and retail service said.
The students logged the index fingerprints of each hand into the system, and while the process is reminiscent of a card swipe, college officials believe there to be several advantages to the biometric alternative including greater throughput at the dining hall queue.
Margaret Empie, assistant vice president for dining and retail service at Wartburg College, told The Circuit that the biometric system could also provide a boost in security.
“Scanning fingerprints would take away the risk of losing a card and having another person use it,” Empie said. “This system would be especially advantageous if Wartburg were to add an unlimited meal plan.”
The system cannot operate over wifi and additional wiring would be needed, but Empie believes the system will be an extremely cheap option that can be easily executed by campus IT personnel.
Despite the month-long trial period with biometric access, there is no final word yet as to whether the college will fully implement the fingerprint system. College officials called the trial a “low-level experiment,” stating that the system must work with the campus’ existing architecture if it’s to be implemented.