Rec Center patrons can now enter by scanning their hands


New hand scanners are in place for students to use on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. These scanners function as an alternative to scanning student IDs. In order for the scanners to allow access the student first has to be registered at the information desk. So far, there are only two scanners. (Auston Mahone)

By Tierra Carpenter

Student Recreation Center patrons now have a way to skip the line and hit the gym faster.

The Rec announced last week via social media that they will now give students the option to use a biometric hand scanner to gain entry into the center.

So far, 136 students have registered to use this new feature, which cost the center $5,500 to implement, said Corné Prozesky, the Rec’s associate director.


He said the change came about as a way to make gym entry more efficient, helping members get inside more quickly and without having to bring their ID with them.

“They can just get out of their car or jump off their bike, walk up not having anything in their hands, work out and leave,” Prozesky said.

He said the new scanning system was easily implemented because it was already a part of the software the center uses.

Prozesky said the response he’s gotten to the new change so far has been positive.

Savannah Henry, a sophomore from Belton, Texas, studying business finance, said she comes to the Rec Center every day and experiences lines from time to time.

“It’s a little annoying, especially when I feel like I’m running late to practice,” said Henry, a member of the SIU swim team.

Henry said she registered to use the scanner as soon as she heard about it.


Another member is a little less enthusiastic about the update.

Richard Walker, 2017 alumnus with a bachelor’s in exercise science and an associate’s in physical therapy assisting, is a frequent visitor of the Rec. He said lines at the center are sometimes frustrating and the scanner is a step in the right direction.

“Sometimes lines just get obnoxious,” Walker said. “When you’re pressed for time, it’s good to just go ahead and get through.”

Though he said he has seen the hand-scanner used a couple of times as a faster option, he’s still a bit skeptical about it.

“I’ve considered enrolling, but as of right now I don’t feel the need to,” Walker said.

Prozesky said the hand scanners have been fully functional since last Monday.

“I swiped my hand in four times to make sure everything works,” Prozesky said. “It is definitely working, and there is not a problem with it at all.”

Prozesky said some members have expressed that they are worried about their fingerprints being stored in the system they scan their hand, but that isn’t how the software works.

“The hand reader records and stores a three-dimensional shape of a human hand for comparison and identity verification,” Prozesky said. “Then, upon the verification, the hand reader will produce an output that will unlock the turnstile and let you go through.”

Prozesky said the Rec may make additional improvements soon, including enabling memberships, instructional programs and training sessions to be purchased online.

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] or @tierramc_.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.