Camaria Welch, 22, a dietetics student at the University of Georgia, gets her eye scanned at Bolton Dining Commons as part of the new iris camera system in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, April 17, 2017. (Photo/Jane Snyder, janemarysnyder.com)

The University of Georgia has recently introduced eye scanners at some of its facilities, including the dining commons. Now instead of taking a scan of a student’s hand, the new system takes a scan of the student’s iris.

While many students may feel apprehensive about the new eye scanners, they are an improvement from the hand scanners. They are faster, more hygienic and easier to use than the previous software.

The University Dining Services advertise that this system functions by “[capturing] a digital photographed iris pattern (D-PIP) of a user’s eyes. When a user approaches a turnstile, the IRIS Camera compares the D-PIP at the recognition station for verification. The D-PIP data is used only by the University of Georgia.”

“It feels more intimate because a lot of people don’t notice, but your eyes are one of the most subconscious factors that you use in communicating and other things,” said Jacob Rynne, a junior ecology and music double-major, “Which is why I could understand and why at first I felt like these eye scanners were a bit invasive.”

While change is hard and certainly somewhat intimidating, it is important to remember that all it takes is time to acclimate to the new system. Once more students are on campus for the fall semester, the more efficient systems will save time and stop the spread of diseases through contagions carried on the hands.

This is not the first time the University of Georgia established new software to increase efficiency. In 2014, biometric hand scanners were replaced with card and pin access for the residence halls.

While many students at the time expressed concerns, underclassmen today have never even heard of hand scanners at the dorms. The pin system was faster and more hygienic than the hand scanner, so they replaced it. Likewise, the eye scanners are faster and more hygienic, so they are being integrated now.

The eye scanners create a campus that is more efficient and more hygienic, and while it may take some adjustment, in due time the eye scanners will be normalized. We advance with technology and technology brings us a better campus, eye scanners included.