BIO-key and identiMetrics launch biometric school emergency notification system
School emergencies and evacuations can be challenging for administrators and dangerous for students, posing difficulties for identification and communication. BIO-key has partnered with identiMetrics and mass notification system maker BrightArrow Technologies to launch a biometric communication and messaging software system, the companies have announced.
The new RallyPoint Control solution notifies anxious parents about events as early in the process as possible, provides critical information to first responders and school administrators in real-time, and provides a safe and orderly way to authorize caregivers to pick up their children, according to the announcement.
Students are identified at the specified rally point with fingerprint scans on ruggedized biometric tablets, and notifications of their safety and the designated pick-up location are automatically sent to parents or emergency contacts via text, email, or phone call. The list of students biometrically identified is compared in real-time to the latest attendance report uploaded from the school, and a list of children both accounted for and unaccounted for is periodically sent to first responders and designated school officials. On pick-up, the student performs a fingerprint scan again, and a notification is sent to the caregiver picking up the child, which that person shows to a school official to prove they are the correct person to release the child to. RallyPoint can also be installed on tablets with FirstNet capability, as well as on Windows laptops.
identiMetrics provides biometric identification management systems for K-12 education.
“I have spent most of my career in education, so I know firsthand the difficulties in managing all of the complex aspects of school emergencies and evacuations – where every second requires expert leadership, direction and control,” says identiMetrics President and CEO Dr. Jay Fry.
Fry also points out that in an emergency situation, students and staff may not have smartphones with them, and teachers may not know the names of, or speak the same language as all children in their care, making biometrics critical for ensuring correct identification.
There are now more than a million students using fingerprint biometrics for food service, attendance, and other applications.
“BIO-key has always championed the benefits of biometric identification and it’s rewarding to be part of this school safety solution,” states BIO-key Chairman and CEO Mike DePasquale. “Obviously, it can be extremely distressful when a parent and child are separated during a disaster. The RallyPoint/identiMetrics solution, including BIO-key’s finger matching technology, securely connects loved ones and will thereby have an immediate and positive impact in emergency situations.”