San Francisco Chronicle
August 24, 2010
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
When the 24 Hour Fitness chain recently installed finger scanners as a way of verifying members’ identity, it was a public premiere of sorts for a powerful and fast-expanding technology – and a test of whether consumers will embrace it.
The scanners, which came to the chain’s 60 Bay Area gyms this month, are a form of biometrics, in which people are recognized through a unique physical quality. Although 24 Hour Fitness checks fingers, biometric devices can verify people’s identity based on the contours of hands, eyes and faces, a voice, even a scent or a style of walking.
The technology has become far more accurate and affordable in recent years, allowing it to move beyond longtime police and military uses and to be hailed, by some, as a potential solution to the menace of identity theft.