When the bell rings this fall, several schools – ranging from elementary schools to college campuses – will be using various iris scanning security methods as a way to improve security.
“Iris scanning has a very high level of accuracy, and you don't have to touch anything,” James Hammond, head of Winthrop University's Information Technology department, said. “It can be hands free security.”
Winthrop, in South Carolina, is testing out iris scanning technology during its freshman orientation this summer. Students had their eyes scanned as they received their ID cards last month.
“Iris scanners are very accurate and cannot be forged with today’s technology,” Hammond noted. “ID cards are less effective because they can be passed to other users or stolen or even forged.”
Winthrop will test the iris scanners this fall first at Macfeat Early Childhood Laboratory School, an on-campus pre-school program where the university’s education majors are trained. The identities of parents and guardians will be verified through the technology when they pick up their young children.
Blinkspot, a South Dakota-based company, manufactures iris scanners specifically for use on school buses. When students come aboard, they look into a scanner that looks like a pair of binoculars. The reader will beep if they're on the right bus and honk if they're on the wrong one.
Parents can use a mobile app that syncs with the Blinkspot scanner to see where their child is. Every time a child boards or exits the bus, his parent gets an email or text with the child's photograph, a Google map where they boarded or exited the bus, as well as the time and date.