EyeLock sees future growth with iris ID scans

Apr 29, 2016, 1:32 PM EDT
(Source: Leticia Ayuso/flickr)
(Source: Leticia Ayuso/flickr)

EyeLock, a firm with patented iris-scanning identification systems, announced on Thursday that it had received the prestigious Edison Silver Award for innovation. EyeLock's iris technology is not only more secure than cards, PIN numbers, and fingerprint scanning; it's also much easier and less intrusive to use.

EyeLock's devices look at more than 240 unique iris characteristics, and unlike most other biometric firms, it uses dual-eye authentication for added security, since no two irises are alike. For reference, while the false acceptance rate for voice recognition is 1 in 500, and for fingerprint ID 1 in 10,000, for a single-iris ID it is 1 in 1.5 million. (The only method of securing someone’s identity more securely would be direct DNA matching.)

The firm is targeting a wide range of services to use its technology, including ATMs, vehicles, mass registration, and the internet of things. Besides unparalleled security, the major selling points of EyeLock’s technology are that it is easy to deploy and use, and priced affordably. Iris authentication is sure to revolutionize businesses of all kinds, and cut down on fraud and identity theft as well.

The firm has different iris scanning setups for different needs. For mass enrollments, "Myris" easily connects to a computer via USB, enabling organizations to deploy multiple stations in a cost-effective way. For access-control, "nano NXT" authenticates up to 20 people per minute, in-motion and at-a-distance. In combination with the firm’s portable template system, this setup is ideal for environments where privacy laws prohibit creating biometric databases, and simplifies consumer applications, including ATMs and bus and rail transportation, according to PR Newswire. (For internal security, the intelligent onboard memory management system can distribute an individual’s iris templates only to doors authorized for entry.)

Lastly, the overhead "HBOX" is best for authentications in high-traffic environments such as building lobbies, border checkpoints, airports, stadiums, and theme parks. Its flexible design means it can be mounted in many different ways, and it recognizes up to 50 people per minute, in-motion and at-a-distance.

Eyelock is gaining momentum in its partnerships and capabilities. In November 2014 it announced a partnership with MorphoTrust USA (which has 1,100 IdentoGO biometric registration centers across the country) to use its technology across enterprise, motor vehicle administration, airport screening, and financial services markets.

Then in January of this year, EyeLock revealed that it is working with Diebold on an iris-enabled ATM that has no screen. A customer would sign into their banking app on their mobile device and input a withdrawal order, then approach any EyeLock-equipped ATM on the network to complete the transaction. After a fast iris scan, the ATM would dispense the correct amount of cash. The whole process would take less than half the time of a typical ATM transaction today, noted Planet Biometrics.

In late March, EyeLock announced its partnership with PSA Security Network, the world’s largest electronic security cooperative of its kind, responsible for over $2 billion in safety installations. And in early April EyeLock revealed that thanks to its new software development kit, its technology can be integrated into four major security platforms, setting the stage for further growth.

"EyeLock believes that the age of carrying plastic cards and remembering passwords is just about over and the era of unfettered personal access through biometric technology is just beginning," said Anthony Antolino, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer. This is great news for consumers, for whom iris authentication can finally eliminate many of the hassles associated with earlier tech advances. Expect this industry to spread quickly over the next few years.