Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Voice biometrics for school catering by 2007

Voice biometrics are to be used in US school cafeterias in 2007. After the initial roll out in the States the companies plan to introduce the technology in Latin America and Asia.

This from TMCnet:

Instead of trying to manage long lunch lines of children scrambling to get a meal, PCS Revenue Control Systems, Inc., provider of point of sale (POS) systems and voice biometrics company, CellMax Systems Inc., are making payment and management of school lunch a more efficient process via their joint voice recognition-based identification, verification and payment system designed specifically for the school lunchroom environment.

Students simply say their name and student number and their account is immediately charged for their meals, allowing them to quickly move through the lunch line and get back to the table to eat. This will save schools time spent trying to keep youngsters orderly as they move through the lines.

Why do educational establishments and advisers think that having fingerprint and voices biometrics will calm children down in lunch queues and stop stigma of free school meals? Has research been done on whether biometric technology has this quietening down effect on students? Really students should be taught to line in an orderly manner and respect that people have varying levels of income, that some people have and some don't have - that's life.

I do have my doubts about the various reasons touted in press releases and the industry's spiel about school biometric systems and why the technology should be in schools. It seems to me that valuable life lessons that children will need as adults, are being overlooked.

The life lesson they will learn that it is okay to compliantly yield their biometric information in exchange for food and learning resources, without knowing who has access to their habits or how their information is used.

No comments: