Winthrop students sign up for eye scanning ID service - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Winthrop students sign up for eye scanning ID service

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

Like many schools Winthrop University is constantly looking for ways to keep students safe and unwanted visitors away.

Bright eyed freshmen were moving on campus at Winthrop University Friday morning, getting ID cards for the fall.

Carmen Trull from Charleston is getting her eyes scanned for a new kind of student ID, the university's new iris identification system.

"You don't have to have anything on you. You don't even have to have a bag with you. It's just your eyes. Your eyes are always with you," said Trull.

"The goal is to take away ID cards in places like the Wes center where you might go to swim. You don't want to carry your ID card, you just get your eyes scanned and go right in," said Winthrop University IT Manager TJ Carney.

Carney says the eye scan is a high resolution picture of the students' iris, not a laser. The picture is saved as an algorithm or code and is matched up every time the scanner is used.

"At first I was a little critical of it. I didn't know what it meant. It's kind of scary. Is it expensive? But I learned more about it and learned to accept it and realize it will make our campus safer," said freshman Sarah Cohen

"Winthrop University is leading the way in the nation with it, taking the technology and applying it in the educational setting. It's used in the department of defense, real high secure areas are using this technology," said Carney.

Winthrop will pilot the iris scan technology at the university's Macfeat nursery school starting this fall. Parents or guardians will now have to scan their eyes when picking up their children.

Depending on its success there, the system will be implemented in other campus buildings.

The eye scan is optional for students.

 

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