Iris-Scanner Could Make Web Site Passwords Obsolete, Login More Secure

By May 14, 2011
artist render of eyelock

Instead of having to remember a bunch of passwords when they log into web services and other applications, consumers will be able to buy a small device that will scan their unique iris and sign securely in for them.

A consumer-level security device is finally available that scans the iris, enabling users to log into personal accounts. New York-based Hoyos Group revealed the EyeLock at the Finovate financial tech conference in San Francisco this week, what Hoyos refers to as "the first and only portable iris-scanning device for consumers," as Yahoo! Finance describes it.

The four-ounce EyeLock device is about the size of a business card and connects via USB. The user chooses what she wishes to EyeLock, then holds the scanner wand in front of the eye, which logs into any password-protected site, including Facebook, Gmail, etc.

The manufacturer claims that iris recognition is more secure than hackable passwords and has more unique reading points than fingerprints. "Every time you log in, it reads your iris and creates a unique key, which is a series of numbers, and this key changes every time you log in, so no one can hack it," said Tracy Hoyos, assistant marketing director, quoted by CNET on Thursday.

While iris-scanners have been installed at airports and other government institutions, this is the first time a consumer can purchase such a device. The company aims to increase security, as well as convenience, since the need for multiple passwords will become obsolete. Additionally, Hoyos explains that the tech will only work for a live human - "If someone kills you, it won't work, because once you die your eye automatically flattens so your iris isn't the same," said Hoyos.

As yet the EyeLock does not have a release date, and will retail at $99. Hoyos has already released a device for government use, such as the eye- and face- reading HBOX,  and is researching additional applications including mobile.

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