myris personal iris scanner looks to replace passwords
myris is a new iris-scanning identity authentication device that promises to improve online security for its users and eliminate the need to remember the myriad of different passwords required for our different digital accounts.
The small, mouse-like device connects to a user's computer via USB and uses video to scan over 240 points on each iris and generate a unique 2048-bit digital signature for the user. After this, users need only hold the device up and look into its mirrored lens to gain access to their digital accounts.
Accounts, such as social networks, e-commerce websites and online banking, are linked to myris via an accompanying application, but no personal data is stored within the application, or transmitted. Authentication occurs on the device itself. Users are therefore able to set highly complex passwords for their accounts and simply forget about them, using myris to verify their identity instead.
EyeLock, the firm that produces myris in partnership with Voxx Electronics, says that the odds of a false ID with myris are one in 2.25 trillion and that only DNA provides a more accurate means of verification. The company's Chief Marketing Officer, Anthony Antolino, predicts that usernames and passwords will ultimately cease to be used and that products like myris will replace them.
"It is a constant struggle for organizations and individuals to keep their digital, social and financial transactions safe from compromise, breach and theft," explains Antolino in a press release. "People are required to remember dozens of passwords in an effort to secure their data, however we continue to hear about security breaches daily. With myris, consumers and enterprise organizations now have instant and secure login to most of their digital access points."
EyeLock was established in 2006 and has historically provided iris-based identity authentication solutions to organizations, including Fortune 500, 100 and 50 firms. The company claims that myris is the first device of its kind to be simple enough for the consumer market.
myris is expected to be available to consumers this year and will be compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS and Chrome OS. Pricing details have not yet been announced.
Product page: EyeLock
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Having said that, the idea makes a lot of sense because remembering passwords is the bane of my life. Perhaps when miniaturisation has developed a bit further it might be possible to combine it with one's wristwatch or have it as a wearable item for the other wrist (now there's a business opportunity for someone!).
I suppose it is something that could usefully be incorporated into Google Glass. It would then be only a matter of a second or two before one would have access to one's bank account, instead of the palaver one has to go through at present. Though before then I would like there to be some fear detection built in so that one could not be 'persuaded' at knifepoint to transfer money to them. But there again, my glasses are already on the list of things I mislay! Oh hum.
1. If you lose the device, how do you get your computer activated? Do you still need a pass code for an emergency case?
2. Do you have to look into a brightened lense or is it like a regular mirror with no glare? If former, it could be hazardous to your eyes after a long use.
Security in a vacuum only worked in the 80's, and even then not well. The world has moved on - you've got to solve the mobile and social and scaleability problems, and *all* of the technical ones, *all* of the time, otherwise you're exacerbating the problem, not solving it.