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Washington State University installs Morpho fingerprint scanners


Washington State University (WSU) has installed MorphoWave Tower, the OT-Morpho-developed biometric fingerprint access control system which grants access to certain buildings though a wave of a hand, according to a report by The Daily Evergreen.

Following the University of Maryland’s lead in using the MorphoWave Tower at their campus dining halls, WSU’s Cougar Card Center has partnered with University Recreation to test the biometric reader as a pilot program in the Student Recreation Center.

The MorphoWave Tower captures a set of points on an individual’s fingerprints when swiped through, then converts these points into an algorithm.

The biometric identifier is sent back to the Morpho system to determine if the numbers match their system and whether to grant the individual access to a building or not.

Craig Howard, director of administrative services information systems at WSU, said the new system was quick, efficient and most likely safer.

He added that the set of points and numbers that represent fingerprints are an unusable series of dots that cannot be traced back to an individual’s identity.

In addition to the MorphoWave Tower, the university’s pilot program also includes two portable enrollment stations, with one situated in the SRC, and the other moved around campus as needed. The stations contain laptops equipped with a specialized program that identifies students.

The program costs approximately $35,000 which was distributed equally between the Cougar Card Center and UREC.

Director of UREC programming Joanne Greene said she has received positive feedback since launching the pilot program about a month ago, adding that the biometric reader offers a seamless option for students with applications that could expanded on a broader scale.

Over 3,000 students signed up during the summer semester and the number of users continues to grow.

The pilot program is open to all students and faculty at WSU, as well as with community members of Pullman.

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