Palm scanners make for quicker lunches - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Palm scanners make for quicker lunches

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MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

Parents may have heard from their children about a cool new way they are granted access to their lunch meals.

Students in Muscogee County are now able to purchase lunch meals with just a simple scan of their palm.

The future has arrived: students are saying goodbye to lunch cards and hello to the palm scanner.

The scanner reads each individual student's palm and processes their information pretty quickly. Cafeteria workers say not only is the new technology fast, it is also a good security barrier.

"It helps with the security of the students because another student might have someone else's card or also might know the students GIT numbers so it's all because of the security of it," said Ana Victory, who works in the Shaw High School cafeteria.  

The scanners have started being used at the high school level and will trickle down to the middle and elementary schools before the end of the school year. 

The palm scanners seem to be a pretty good idea but are they cost effective and how do they work?

"It's cost effective because it allows our cafeteria workers to process our students faster. In turn we feel that more students will participate in the school nutrition program because they will have more time to enjoy their lunch," says Penny Bowen, Shaw High School's assistant principal.

Each palm scanner costs about $400, a price school administrators are willing to pay to protect students' lunch meal accounts.

Each scanner takes a small infared photo of the student's vein pattern just below the skin. The image is recorded so that when a student swipes their palm their account is pulled up. 

School officials say the information will only be used for lunch purposes, but that hasn't stopped some parents from worrying about a potential identity breach.

So far, they have gotten good feedback in the first few days of school. The palm scanners will eventually trickle down to the middle and elementary schools, too.

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