A Louisiana elementary school hit an unexpected snag as they tried to implement palm scanning technology in their cafeteria to speed pupils through lunch lines: parents who fear the biblical Mark of the Beast.
(Cafeteria Palm Scanners video)
After parents of students at the Moss Bluff Elementary School read a letter introducing a new program using a palm vein scanner to move students through the lunch line faster, many parents opposed the program, saying it could be prelude to giving their children the 666 Mark of the Beast.
According to a parent Mamie Sonnier, whose child is a student at Moss Bluff Elementary School, "I was very, very mad and disappointed [with the school authorities]." She explained: "As a Christian, I've read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff. I know where it's going to end up coming to, the mark of the beast. I'm not going to let my kids have that."
The mark is described in Revelations:
'If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives his mark on the forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.'
Fans of William Gibson's 1999 novel All Tomorrows Parties were introduced to this idea more than a decade ago - palm scanners, that is, not the Mark of the Beast.
Rydell pressed his hand within the outline of a hand. He hated the way that felt. Bad cootie factor with those palm-scan things. Hand grease.
He wiped his palm on his trousers.
A previous generation of fans, having read Dune in 1965, of course remember palm locks.
Update: It seems that palm scanners have been a concern for fundamentalists for a long time; see the comments on Palm Scanners from 2006 (thanks to Yossi for pointing this out).