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Fingers Likely To Replace ID Cards In U.S.

Beginning in March, students at University of California, Irvine were no longer required to show their ID cards to gain access to the Anteater Recreation Center, instead, they only had to place their hands in a scanner and type in their personal identification numbers.

Campus officials said the “hand geometry” system has been available for less than two months and almost 9,000 students have signed up to use it. With it, people no longer have to worry whether they have carried their ID or not. Their fingers are their IDs.

The hand scanner does not take fingerprints of handprints. It records a series of specific measurements and analyzes more than 31,000 points and 90 measurements on the hand, including length, width, thickness and surface area and compares the data with that on file for a member’s personal identification number (PIN). It is also called the “hand geometry” system.

Although the university currently does not have any public plans to use the scanners at other major venues, it is possible that such scanners will go into wider use if they continue to prove to be fast and efficient.

The California State University in Fullerton, Southern California, started to use the system at its fitness center a year ago.

Right now, only a few special facilities or places have used the hand geometry system. But possibly people will soon find they do not have to bring their ID cards with them when they go to the airport, check in at hotels or draw money from banks.

The system will have a wider application in the military. The Pentagon has developed its own Defense Biometric Identification System, also called DBIDS, which has already been introduced to U.S. Air Force bases around the world.


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