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The Future Is Now: Iris Recognition Technology Makes ID Cards Redundant

by / / Blog, Higher Education, Identity Verification

Many schools and colleges around the US have introduced advanced ID verification technology this school year. As iris recognition technology becomes easier to develop, standardize and afford, a growing number of educational institutions chooses iris scanning technology to verify staff and student identity in order optimize premises access and increase security.

Talking to CNN Money, James Hammond, head of Winthrop University’s Information Technology department explained how iris scan technology offers convenient, hands-free security. The person only needs to look into the scanner for two seconds— enough for the iris scanner to verify the person’s identity.

Iris recognition technology is hailed as convenient; it doesn’t matter if you lost your ID card – you don’t need one anyway. Reliability is another parameter that iris technology boasts of; each person’s left and right iris is unique and unchangeable through time. Its non-invasive nature is another issue, biometric technology companies have taken care of; advanced iris scanners take 2 seconds or less to verify one’s ID.

The Winthrop University in South Carolina is one of the many schools experimenting with iris scans as a form if biometric ID verification. Biometrics companies are examining ways iris verification technology can help increase on-site security. Such a proposition comes from South Dakota where a company used iris scanners on school buses. These scanners not only ensured the student is on the right bus, but upon ID verification, the technology would notify the student’s parents of the student’s whereabouts, sending data through a mobile app, including an image of the student and their exact location.

While all these might sound sci-fi or even dystopic to some, the technology to optimize security in schools and other high-security facilities is becoming popular, especially at a turning point where their development seems more efficient, affordable and quick as ever.

This ID verification technology is not without its opponents. Privacy issues, data access and infringement are issues that demand answers and are mostly coming from skeptic parents who don’t wish to have their children around advanced, pervasive biometric technology.

Given the concerns over the inaccuracy and ineffectiveness of fingertips for ID verification, iris recognition seems to be a viable, effective alternative with a security optimizing capacity that’s widely applicable; from schools and airports, to offices and hospitals. Before a wider implementation of biometrics, its usefulness for colleges and schools is already being tested. With the right measures, quality standards and limits, biometric technology might be the future available today.


Would you be willing to use a biometric signature such as your fingerprint? What if it meant that you were no longer required to carry a special badge or identification card? Leave us a comment and tell us your opinion!

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