Here are some factors to consider in the process of evaluating a biometric solution:

UNIVERSAL ABILITY. It should be possible to implement a biometric system with any software brand for any application (food service, library, attendance, etc.). Potential costs will quickly rise for a district if it has to purchase different biometric solutions for different applications.

SYSTEM SPEED. Ideally, a biometric identification system should be able to identify a student instantly. Speed is especially critical with lunch line situations. Moving large groups of students through a lunch line quickly cannot be accomplished with a slow system or with a system that slows down once it is expanded to several hundred students.

STORAGE SECURITY. A biometric system should be one directional so that a student’s identification cannot be reversed and obtained from his or her unique identifying information. One directional technology ensures that each student is in complete control of his or her identity.

NETWORKING CAPABILITY. To ensure optimal operating flexibility, a system should be chosen that allows for networking throughout a school or district.

COMPANY EXPERIENCE. Asking for references from school districts is a sensible measure in properly evaluating a specific solution. For example, some systems only work well with older children and require re-enrollment annually.

QUALITY SUPPORT. When there is a need for assistance with a technology challenge, schools typically require an answer quickly to maintain smooth day-to-day operations. In evaluating a biometric provider, it is important to determine hours of service, responsiveness to phone calls and access to technical help.

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