The ideas from Science Fiction just keep on coming into the real world. Now it seems a new business called “EyeVerify” offers software which identifies you by your “eyeprints,” namely the pattern of veins in the whites of your eyes! Apparently we all have four eyeprints, two in each eye both sides of the iris. EyeVerify asserts that this approach is just as accurate as a fingerprint or iris scan, without requiring any special hardware and it is secure.
Based in Kansas City, USA, EyeVerify have plans to bring this new software to the general market in 2013 and its CEO and founder, Toby Rush, can see many uses for it including accessing online medical records or bank accounts using smartphones. This idea could well take off since some phone manufacturers are interested in embedding the software into handsets so that many applications can use it for identity authentication.
The software is reportedly simple to use, although at prototype stage somewhat clunky. Accessing data using a smartphone with EyeVerify would mean users look to the right or the left whilst EyeVerify captures eyeprints from each eye by way of the smartphone camera although resolution quality still needs improvement to work effectively. The captured image is then used by EyeVerify to map the veins in your eye, and match the result against an eyeprint stored on the phone. Mr Rush says that this pioneering software differentiates between an image and a real live human being and long-term changes in the eyes should be slow enough that EyeVerify could “age” its template to adjust. It seems that the software needs just a single true eyeprint to authenticate a person, so verification should still be possible even after some damage from the odd punch to the eye area.
EyeVerify are in the process of conducting tests on the accuracy of the verification in conjunction with Purdue University researchers. I am sure it is only a matter of time before this technology is properly cracked and in general usage. In my days working at Cable & Wireless I recall voice recognition software prototypes being tested out and the results were a little hit and miss back then (1993) but you only have to look at how voice recognition is now in general usage today to buy in to the idea that we will probably be identifying ourselves using our eyes in my lifetime. We can then stop struggling to recall our numerous passwords and heave a sigh of relief!
What an exciting world we live in.