Tertiary education wants real security

Issue 2 2020 Education (Industry)

Portable devices continue to offer a cost-effective and reliable alternative for a number of applications, especially in the education sector. They can also be applied in remote locations or where employees do not report to a fixed point, such as farm workers or maintenance crews for example.

When applied to the tertiary education facility context, portability is required to overcome the obstacles in areas where fixed biometric readers cannot be installed or deployed. According to Matthew Bushell of Powell Tronics, the company has experienced a demand for the use of bespoke portable solutions in most sectors, but in particular for employee and contractor time and attendance (T&A), student rollcall, mustering and visitor management.

The ingredients of a wireless network, portable biometric devices and Powell Tronics-developed software solutions create an enticing mix. “The higher-learning institution doesn’t need to be limited to hardwired terminals mounted to a fixed point. Portable device deployment can help realise the goal of substantial cost saving, making the whole experience virtually paperless and contributing to less infrastructure required at remote sites.”

He adds, “Benefits to the end user and students in the education context are also obvious as the biometric terminal comes to you.”

Powell Tronics has provided the IDEMIA Tablet touchscreen Android biometric tablet device to a number of clients, for use in various market sectors. The tablet’s armoury possesses high-speed data transfer and it can read fingerprints as well as barcodes, providing impressive flexibility in application.

IDEMIA’s fingerprint algorithms deliver fast ‘one-to-many’ on-device matching, against large databases stored in the device’s internal memory. Powell Tronics has developed a number of software applications that readily integrate with the unit, creating a seamless, interchangeable tool for a number of applications.

PT-Rollcall continues to lead the way in allowing for exam management flexibility by using one device for multiple venues. “Simply open and close a session at a particular venue and then move with the device to the next exam venue. In terms of exam or other events, one can also use the device with PT-Rollcall as an entrance verification tool to venues, thereby disallowing students entry into specific venues if they are not enrolled for that particular exam,” says Bushell.

PT Rollcall thus assists with eliminating exam fraud and possible disruption or delays faced at many higher-learning institutions, especially given recent reports regarding issues around shortages of student accommodation and possible NSFAS funding. Web reports are provided to authorised personnel on request and Powell Tronics’ thrust remains to actively contribute to ways which will see students complete their examinations in an efficient manner.


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