Sunway University’s library deploys facial recognition

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Using smartcards to access authentication is pretty good, but what’s better? Sunway University has implemented Facial Recognition (FR) on campus. The University’s IT Services has chosen to deploy the biometric FR system at the Sunway Library entrances.

Eliminating the use of staff or student cards, library users will only need to walk towards the entrance and pass through the turnstile once the FR terminal recognises the person. With 20,000 students and staff users expected to frequent the Library on campus, data collection is an on-going process with new intakes of students and staff. At the current initial stage of implementation, support staff are stationed at the Library entrance to guide users on photo submission and accessing the Library.

With the biometric system in place, Sunway University is moving forward in its efforts to further improve security, providing a better and safer learning environment for all on campus. The move is also unobtrusive and hygienic as unlike other biometric authentication which require contact such as fingerprints, the FR does not require any such contact.

“FR is a fast-growing trend in identification technology development, and its reliability gets better and better. We have been evaluating the FR technology for a while, and it is matured enough for robust deployment on our campus.  We wanted our students and the Sunway community to constantly experience new world-class digital technologies which further aids their learning and success. It is our goal to build up our Sunway campus with digitally-rich facilities for a better enhanced learning experience in line with today’s digital world”, said Tony Lee, Director of IT Services, Sunway Education Group.

“The system is very efficient; it took only a second or two to recognise my face. I also saw some people wearing sunglasses who were able to access the Library via the facial recognition as well, it’s really convenient”, said Gabriel Ng Zhu Liang who is currently pursuing the BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Studies at Sunway University.

Another student who finds the system efficient is Raenuga Indran, a Jeffrey Cheah Continuing scholar in the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme. “As someone who always had to scramble through her bag to find her student identification card every time she wants to go in the library and struggles to wait a couple of seconds after she taps the card to pass through the gates to enter the Library, the newly introduced facial recognition system saves me all the hassle. Now all I have to do is look at the camera which feels similar to looking at a mirror to enter the Library”, she explains.

The Sunway Campus Library serves mainly Sunway University, Sunway College KL and Sunway Le Cordon Bleu besides providing reciprocal borrowing privileges to Monash University Malaysia staff and students. The Library is based on the concept of the learning commons, a collaborative environment that supports and enhances student learning, academic excellence and lifelong learning.

Encompassing 3 levels with a total floor area of 72,000 square feet, the Library is equipped with teaching and learning facilities, including individual and group study, silent zone, group project pods, training rooms, computer clusters, viewing zone, collaborative zones, an Instructional lab and an extended hours study area which opens until 2.00 am daily. The resource-rich library is equipped with print, audio-visual and e-resource collections. Users can access e-resources within the campus and remotely from anywhere in the world through their computers or mobile devices.