School picture ID cards are getting a James Bond-style makeover. Instead of scanning a card and using it to buy food at the cafeteria, check out books at the library or take an exam, you’ll just look into a high-tech iris scanner – and boom – instant identification. It’s already happening at places like Winthrop University in South Carolina and even at elementary schools in the Freehold Borough School District of New Jersey.
Iris-scanning is part of the growing trend of “biometrics" - computer systems that can identify up to 50 people per minute by recognizing their unique physical characteristics, like fingerprints, facial shape, or iris maps. And experts say that within the next year, iris scanners will be showing up on everything from ATMs, to airport security checkpoints. That’s because your iris is even more unique than your fingerprint. There are already iris scanners in place at some foreign airports and at places that need high security, like the Bank Of America headquarters.
Iris scanners are even be showing up on some school buses. Each kid that boards or exits the bus looks into a binocular-like device. If they’re on the right bus, a green light flashes, and if they’re on the wrong bus, a red light flashes. The scanners even help parents keep track of their kids because every scan generates a text or email to mom and dad with the date and time, a picture of their child, and a Google map of their location.
Iris recognition software is also coming to our personal electronics. Soon we’ll use the camera on our phone or tablet to scan our eyeball, and it’ll unlock the device and enable you to buy things on shopping sites without having to enter a password or your credit card information because all that info will already be synced with an image of your iris. Pretty cool, huh?