Biometrics Program / MorphoWave

What are biometrics/what is MorphoWave?
Biometrics are the measurement of unique physical characteristics (such as a fingerprint or voice patterns) as a means of verifying personal identity. Virginia Tech has partnered with Idemia, a leader in biometric technology, to offer the MorphoWave product. MorphoWave is a type of biometric reader that allows a user to wave their hand through a reader in place of using their Hokie Passport ID Card.

Where can it be used?
Currently, this technology has only been deployed at select locations (currently at D2 at Dietrick Hall).

How does it work?
Accessing D2 has never been easier! When you register for the biometrics program, the MorphoWave interface captures biometric data that determines a set of points on your fingertips. Rest assured, it does not map your biometrics. The biometric identifier then turns these points into an encrypted algorithm, representing fingerprints through an array of numbers which gets stored as a “biometric template”. This algorithm will then be connected to your student ID number. To use a MorphoWave reader, simply “wave” your hand through it and the system will pick up the data points from your fingers without the need to touch a screen or device. Once the reader reads the data points, it will search for the numbers that match those data points in the MorphoWave database and will charge your Flex dining plan for your meal.

What are the benefits?
Enrolling in the biometric program will allow you to gain faster access into D2 at Dietrick Hall without having to remove your Hokie Passport ID Card from your pocket or wallet and in instances where you have misplaced your ID Card. Simply wave your hand through the MorphoWave device and the system will process your transaction! Not only is it convenient, this contactless technology is hygienic, preventing cross contact and the spread of bacteria. Additionally, operating a cashier-less register will help keep costs low.

Can I still pay for a guest on occasion?
Sure! To pay for a guest, you would simply need to swipe your Hokie Passport ID Card at a cashier-operated register.

Am I required to sign up and use the biometric program?
No. The biometrics program is completely voluntary.

Who can enroll?
The biometrics program is currently available to active Virginia Tech students aged 18 years and older that are enrolled in at least one Virginia Tech course and have purchased a Flex dining plan (does not include Dining Dollars and Hokie Passport debits) during the current semester.

How do I enroll?
You may enroll in the biometrics program by visiting the Hokie Passport Services office in the Student Services Building (800 Washington St SW, Suite 100, Blacksburg, VA 24061) during business hours (8am-5pm Monday-Friday). You must complete the Biometric Enrollment Form before registering. Just like when you get a new ID, you will be required to present a valid form of photographic identification. Hokie Passport ID Cards are preferred but we can also accept a US-issued Driver’s License, international passport, or US Military ID. The customer service representatives will assist you with enrollment – it is quick and easy!

How do I disenroll?
You may disenroll at any time by visiting the Hokie Passport Services office in the Student Services Building (800 Washington St SW, Suite 100, Blacksburg, VA 24061) during business hours (8am-5pm Monday-Friday) or by sending an email to from your official Virginia Tech email address.

How is this data stored and am I at risk if that system gets compromised?
MorphoWave does not store any sort of fingerprint or other images that would personally identify you. The data points from your fingertips get stored as an encrypted algorithm that cannot be reverse engineered to identify you.

What will Virginia Tech do with my biometric data?
Biometric data will be held in a manner compliant with FERPA, state law, and university policies related to the protection and retention of student data. Biometric templates will not be transferred, sold, provided to third parties, or used for any function other than to gain you convenient access to establishments that participate in the biometrics program on the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus (currently at D2 at Dietrick Hall).

How long do you keep my data?
The MorphoWave database will keep your data until you are no longer a student through the university or until you elect to disenroll from the program. If there are any breaks in service (i.e. resignation, graduation), you will need to reregister through the Hokie Passport Services office.

How may I obtain additional information or provide feedback about the program?
We want to hear from you! Please contact us at with questions, concerns, and feedback.