What was once the stuff of science fiction and spy movies will soon be found at a growing number of American schools.
Iris scanners are being tested by high schools, elementary schools and colleges like South Carolina’s Winthrop University. The scanners work by taking an image of students’ eyes as they looking into a scanner. The image is then compared to a database to confirm the students’ identifies, CNN notes.
Every person’s iris has a unique arrangement of internal structures that act like a fingerprint. Iris scanners offer some advantages over traditional means of identification. Students may misplace their ID cards, but their irises are always available to scan. It is also much more difficult to fool an iris scanner, while faking traditional IDs is fairly commonplace.
Iris scanners don’t require the students to touch anything or hand materials to security personnel, accelerating security checks. They are part of a growing security trend that relies on biometrics to confirm identifies, rather than passwords or ID cards.
Schools won’t be the only places using iris scanners. Security experts expect the technology to be rapidly adopted by a wide range of industries from financial institutions to airlines in coming years. A variety of private companies, including Blinkspot, Eyelock and Iris ID, are developing and testing the technology.