The University of Rhode Island has an extensive history with biometric access, having installed biometric hand readers on campus as far back as 2007. But with the arrival of COVID-19, and the general evolution of biometric reader technology, the time has arrived for URI to implement a touchless biometric solution.
Leveraging Direct Connect, the latest development in CBORD’s suite of biometric solutions for CS Gold and Odyssey customers, URI was able to install MorphoWave biometric readers from IDEMIA.
The full implementation has been discussed in detail in CBORD’s “Frictionless Biometrics for Campus Access and Payments” webinar. The free webinar offers insights from the University of Rhode Island and experts from CBORD who assisted on the project.
Becky Estey and Shaun Kavanagh of URI discuss the planning, installation, and enrollment stages of implementing biometric readers, as well as share lessons learned throughout the process.
Also presenting is Chris Lockwood, business analyst for CBORD’s Product Team, who explains how Direct Connect works with CS Gold and Odyssey systems, as well as requirements for implementation.
“CBORD was there at URI pretty much from start to finish. We implemented both the initial hardware and MorphoManager server setup before connecting the devices to URI’s Odyssey card system,” explains Lockwood. “CBORD was involved in putting together the hardware, setting up the host server, configuring the devices, and training on enrollment and usage.”
“Once we completed the development for the CBORD and IDEMIA service, we were able to install the software on the current MorphoManager server and configure each device to talk to the server and Odyssey,” Lockwood adds.
Biometrics at URI
URI and CBORD have a longstanding history with biometrics, having implemented a hand biometric system in the Fall of 2007.
“Our Ingersoll Rand Handkey II readers served us well for more than a decade until COVID-19 hit,” says Shaun Kavanagh, Associate Director of IT Support, Dining, Housing & Residential Life at the University of Rhode Island.
The initial deployment of the Handkey II system at URI required all users to place their hand on the same surface to scan, which obviously wouldn’t suffice during a pandemic.
“When we implemented our system at the height of the pandemic we knew that we needed to be touchless,” says Kavanagh. “Since our staff and customers were already accustomed to using their hand for entry, using the fingerprint scanning ability of the MorphoWave readers seemed to make the most sense for us.”
Kavanagh recalls first seeing the IDEMIA MorphoWave units at a CBORD User Group Conference, seeing it as an ideal replacement for an aging biometric system at URI.
“The footprint and network connectivity of the MorphoWave reader was very close to our existing system which made the switch very easy,” says Kavanagh. “The readers also can interface with turnstiles, which is something we hope to do in the future.”
“Another benefit is that the readers are considerably faster than our previous system and they don’t require the student to swipe their card first,” adds Kavanagh. “This has greatly sped up our entry lines and increased customer satisfaction.”
Biometrics for emerging challenges
“Our customers who have hand or fingerprint readers that require physical contact are likely looking for contactless solutions,” says Mike Atkins, CBORD platform solutions account manager for URI. “IDEMIA’s MorphoWave or the VisionPass facial recognition readers, which we’re starting to implement on a few campuses, are excellent touchless solutions.”
CBORD is making improvements on the backend to make it easier for campuses to implement these types of biometric solutions on campus.
“CBORD’s new interface allows Odyssey and CS Gold 8 customers to be able to use these readers without additional hardware (e.g. Epics, Aeros, access control hardware, etc.),” says Atkins. “The readers connect directly to the card system instead of utilizing our access control solution, making it a ‘lighter lift’ for implementation.”
For more on the University of Rhode Island’s use of MorphoWave biometric readers, and how CBORD is helping to deliver the solution, check out the full “Frictionless Biometrics for Campus Access and Payments” webinar.