Scottish school uses palm reading biometrics in cafeteria

Published 30 October 2006

In the first implementation of palm reading biometrics in Europe, a primary school in Scotland installs palm readers to facilitate a secure non-token, or cashless, payment system in its cafeteria; the technology may eventually be used to provide biometric access control, monitor truancy levels, keep an eye on class attendance, and provide for time management of staff

Forget student IDs; now there is a better way to make sure the students who attend your school are who they say they are. Glasgow-based Yarg Biometrics and Fujitsu Europe will work together to develop a pioneering biometric identification system for schools. The system will be based on PalmSecure, Fujitsu’s palm vein authentication technology. Yarg and Fujitsu have already implemented the technology at Todholm Primary School in Paisley, Scotland.

To the extent that we can tell, the palm vein-based biometric authentication system at Todholm is the first of its kind in Europe. We note that the Todholm system is used for paying for school meals. Indeed, the project is part of the Scottish Executive’s Hungry for Success initiative to promote the health and social wellbeing of children in Scotland, with a focus on school meals.

The contact-less PalmSecure palm vein authentication technology incorporates a device to emit near-infrared light to capture a unique palm vein pattern of the user, and that pattern is used for personal identification. The palm vein pattern in an individual’s hand is unique from person to person and even between one’s left and right hands. As veins are inside the body, a palm vein pattern is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to falsify, and there is no need for surface contact, thus making the syste, more hygienic for public use.

Yarg Biometrics, an innovative Scottish biometrics company, collaborated with Fujitsu Europe to develop Yarg’s PalmReader device, based on Fujitsu’s PalmSecure technology.

The Todholm primary school wanted to install a secure non-token, or cashless, system to provide Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) for their catering facilities, and called on the Amey Group to install it. The system uses pre-registered palm vein patterns from the pupils and staff to manage individual accounts, thus creating a cashless catering solution. The Yarg’s PalmReader design allows the school authorities to expand the use of the technology to provide biometric access control, monitor truancy levels, keep an eye on class attendance, and provide for time management of staff.

-read more at arg Web site