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Winthrop rolls out new Iris-based biometric scanning technology

It’s technology you’ve probably only ever seen in the movies — a machine scanning your eyes to grant access to a building.

And it’s now rolling out at Winthrop University.

To date, 1,666 students, faculty and staff have enrolled in the system that’s designed to replace existing identification cards issued with magnetic stripes.

Dubbed EagleEye, the system is the latest in biometric technology, something that may replace student ID cards.

Winthrop’s Director of Technology Services, Patrice Bruneau.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Bruneau said the idea came after looking at upgrading security at the McFeat Laboratory School for parents picking up their children from daycarere.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Bruneau and his team looked at other forms of biometric security — including a fingerprint scanner. But that idea was discarded after concerns of the fingerprint scanners being a quick way to spread germs.

Instead, the iris scanner does not require any hand or face contact.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

And that formula is eventually what is compared to information already on file to determine whether access is granted to a building or room.

The iris scanners cost roughly $2,000 more than existing magnetic stripe readers, so any future rollout of the system will come as funding becomes available.

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