Schlage biometric readers secure access to London Olympic sites for five years

Company's solutions enrolled 81K people, handled over 30M transactions throughout program


The use of biometrics has grown with each successive Olympic Games. From protecting athletes at the 1984 Games, the use of hand geometry readers has been a feature of access control at Olympic Games since.  By the time the 1996 Games ended, hand geometry tracked 65,000 people, providing over 1 million transactions in 28 days. That Olympics was the first wide-scale deployment of ID cards linked to hand geometry readers through radio frequencies. Each card contained a chip that stored an ID number and a digital template of the person's hand to whom the badge was issued. As a person approached high-security access points, such as those into the Olympic Village, the radio-frequency chip transmitted the image and number. A computer recorded the number so that a person's entry and exit could be tracked.

Meanwhile, the person placed her hand on a hand geometry reader that took and compared a three-dimensional geometric image of the hand with the image sent by the ID card.  Access was denied unless the two matched. The entire process took only a few seconds.