West Virginia School Gets Biometrics Makeover

BIO-key International Inc., a finger-based biometric identification and wireless public safety solutions provider, announced that identiMetrics, Inc., a BIO-key partner and provider of fingerprint biometric identification solutions for schools has deployed an identification solution in the school cafeterias in Wood County, West Virginia.

Wood County has installed the identiMetrics software platform, identiFi, a comprehensive biometric fingerprint identification and security platform that utilizes BIO-key's WEB-key technology to provide quick and positive identification of students for secure entrance to schools, classroom attendance, cafeteria and library account access as well as medication distribution in the nurse's office.

The power of BIO-key's WEB-key technology combined with the versatility of identiMetrics' software platform identiFi eliminates the cost and administration of issuing and replacing lost, stolen or forgotten student ID cards or PINs. Student privacy is ensured since the actual fingerprint is never stored. And a student is enrolled only once, no matter how many applications a school may wish to utilize.

"Our schools were begging for a more accurate method of identifying and tracking our students than the existing card system in place", said Beverly Blough, Director of Food Service in the Wood County School District. By using identiFi from identiMetrics in our food services operations, we no longer have to worry about students losing or destroying their cards. Students won't be forced to stand at the end of the lunch line and teachers won't have to worry about typing in a nine-digit lunch code for a student. It will simplify the entire process and allow the teachers and administrators to concentrate on what is really important ... the students themselves." Blough also said that the program may be expanded in the future to other areas of the schools, such as libraries, nurse's offices and even to help classroom teachers take roll.

In order to identify students, a biometric fingerprint reader quickly scans the fingerprint as the students move through the lunch line. A series of identification points, such as distinctive loops and whirls within a fingerprint, are then converted into a numerical code that accesses the student's account. The scanning process takes less than a second to complete and a student can be enrolled into the system in about 10 seconds. The actual fingerprints are not stored in the school's system and will not provide any personal data on the students. Fingerprints also cannot be reconstructed from the stored template.

"We are thrilled to be working with Beverly and the Wood County schools", said Dr. Raymond J. Fry, President and CEO of identiMetrics. "By using BIO-key's WEB-technology as a part of our identiFi platform, we are able to provide cost-effective biometric fingerprint identification solutions for schools."

"The BIO-key technology combined with identiFi allows school administrators to strike a perfect balance between all the important factors: speed, service, convenience, accuracy and privacy," said BIO-key CEO Mike DePasquale. "This is yet another testament to the adoption of our solutions by partners that are expert in delivering solutions in specific vertical market. There are over 104,000 schools in the U.S. representing a huge addressable market opportunity."