Sonitrol of Orlando Replaces Proximity Readers with HandReaders – Biometrics Ensure Only Authorized Individuals Enter Sorority Houses.
CAMPBELL, CALIF. – December 10, 2003 – IR Recognition Systems, the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand’s (IR) Security & Safety Group’s Electronic Access Control Division (EACD), today announced that Sonitrol of Orlando has installed Recognition Systems biometric HandReaders at two sorority houses at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, heightening security for 200 sorority sister residents and staff. HandReaders automatically take a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of a person’s hand and verify an identity in less than one second. Because they operate outdoors, HandReaders were selected over fingerprint readers.
“Both the Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Delta sorority houses were experiencing problems with unauthorized students from the university coming into the houses at all times of the day and night,” says Jerry Ofstedal, Installation Manager for Sonitrol. “To eliminate the possibility of an unauthorized individual gaining access without a resident being present, the HandReaders offer redundant access to the sororities. Each student must enter a PIN code and then present her hand in order to gain entry.”
Sonitrol originally installed a proximity reader with a magnetic lock at the front door to control access to the sorority house. The door would open when an authorized user presented an electronic key fob. However, it was discovered that electronic keys were being shared or provided to non-sorority individuals. Sonitrol then installed an additional outdoor access keypad so individuals would be required to enter a unique PIN code along with using the electronic key to gain entry. Unfortunately, it was determined that the PIN numbers were also being given out to unauthorized users, lessening the overall security level for the sorority.
Ofstedal and Gabe Gomez, Operations Manager for Sonitrol, began testing various biometric options. The two most viable options were fingerprint or hand geometry systems. The fingerprint was not suitable for outdoor use. The HandReader offered a weatherproof enclosure to ensure that the sorority houses would not experience downtime due to maintenance issues and abuse. After further testing, Sonitrol replaced the proximity readers and keypads with IR Recognition Systems HandReaders and eliminated electronic key technology. Each of the installations took only a matter of hours, which included the enrolling of more than 200 residents and staff into the systems.
“Although the residents knew they could no longer pass on their electronic keys for friends to gain entry to the sorority house, they seemed very excited about the increased security protection that the hand geometry technology provides,” Ofstedal reports. “Users were a little nervous at first about placing their hands in the reader, but once it was explained that it was similar to ‘just taking a picture of their hand,’ they accepted the new technology.”
Sonitrol of Orlando expects to install many more biometric HandReaders in order to provide the best security solutions to its customers. The benefits of biometric technology include unparalleled accuracy and reliability, true security, cost savings when compared to card-based systems, and fast, easy enrollment and use. The HandReaders also integrate into existing systems and increase user convenience by eliminating cards.