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UNC adds MorphoWave biometric access in campus rec

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has installed MorphoWave readers to enable biometric access to campus recreation facilities. The initiative is being spearheaded by UNC Campus Recreation, and has introduced an optional, contactless system for student entry to facilities.

IDEMIA’s MorphoWave readers have been implemented at a host of universities across the country in various settings including access to meal plans in campus dining. The readers are contactless in that students simply wave their hand through the reader, enabling the unit to scan the hand and match the user’s fingerprints against the database.

According to The Daily Tar Heel, UNC students who visit the campus rec center will no longer have to swipe their UNC One Card for entry. UNC has already installed the biometric readers at the Student Recreation Center, the Rams Head Recreation Center, Fetzer Hall and Woollen Gym locations.

The biometric access system is entirely voluntary, and will act as a more convenient alternative to the campus card as a means of entry.

“You don’t have to have your ID with you and worry about putting it in a locker,” said Bill Goa, Campus Recreation Director, in a Daily Tar Heel interview. “The feedback we’ve gotten from students that are utilizing them has been very, very positive.”

UNC students can enroll in the MorphoWave system by visiting UNC’s One Card Office. Start to finish, the enrollment process takes 30 seconds. The system also follows all the best practices for biometric security.

“What it does is you scan your hand and it creates a digital algorithm of your thumb fingerprints,” said Goa. “It doesn’t take the fingerprints themselves, but it utilizes the fingerprints to take an algorithm of your hand.”

There remains a slight learning curve in the early days of the biometric readers, but students are catching on fast.

“I definitely have run into some circumstances where people try to stick their phone in there, stick their One Card in there, put their One Card on top of it, things like that, so there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve,” said Ray. “That’s the only negative I can see with them.”

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