Scan your finger: gym access granted

Biometric finger scanners might be the new solution for students who frequently forget or lose their CATcards.

Tim Lewis, associate director for campus recreation, thought of the idea when trying to find a way that would grant students access into buildings without having their CATcards.

Because there is only one other school in the nation that we could find utilizing biometric finger vein scanners, we were nervous about the functionality and ease of using this technology, Lewis said.

The finger-reading technology uses near-infrared light through a camera to identify each students unique veins.

Lewis said he felt more comfortable that he made the right decision about the project when he saw the positive response coming from faculty and students.

I am excited to admit we couldnt be happier with the scanners, he said They have performed to our expectations through the first few weeks of school.

Local company Vermont Systems Inc. is in charge of constructing the project and partnered with the developers of Biometric scanners, M2SYS: Accelerated Biometrics, whose president, Michael Trader, is a UVM alum.

The scanners are installed in the Patrick Gym, where students can register their identity.

Nicole Todd, assistant director of campus recreation has seen a positive response thus far.

From what weve seen this first week of the semester, the students, faculty and staff have been really excited about the scanners, Todd said. Aside from the wow factor that comes with new technology, it allows an alternative way to access the facility.

The scanner will take two to five minutes to register a students identity in the computer. Once the student has registered it will only take two seconds to scan into the gym.

Junior Rachael Haab was optimistic about this new technology.

I feel like its a lot better because you dont need your CATcard, which makes going to the gym easier, Haab said.

Additional locations for the scanners will be coming soon.

For more information on the Biometric scanners go to