Voxx sees iris scans putting password era to bed

Posted at 01/07/14 11:35 AM

LAS VEGAS - Voxx International wants iris recognition technology to render passwords obsolete, offering a "one in two trillion" level of online security.

The US-based consumer electronics company once known as Audiovox on Monday unveiled myris, a hockey-puck size gadget that allows a gaze to be the key to unlocking a computer, teller machine, or any other device needing a password.

"Only DNA is more accurate than iris identity authentication," Voxx Electronics president Tom Malone said while introducing myris, which was made in collaboration with biometrics firm EyeLock.

"The chance of a false match is one in more than two trillion."

Myris scans eyes and converts each individual's unique identifying data into an encrypted code, according to Voxx.

The device can then be plugged into USB ports to access machines or online accounts with one's eyes.

"Photos or video recordings of faces won't work," Malone said during a press event here on the eve of the formal start of the international Consumer Electronics Show.

"This is truly the elimination of passwords."

Voxx billed myris as the first consumer-facing version of the technology, which had been kept out of reach by complexity and cost. While not releasing pricing, Malone said myris will be available at affordable prices through retailers.

He envisioned the technology being put to use to safeguard bank accounts, hospital records, and other valuable personal data as well as for people's devices and online services.

"Identity theft is a worldwide problem and we have a global solution," Malone said. "To say biometrics is a growth category is an understatement."

Iris authentication has been available to corporations and enterprises for years, but no platform has been simple enough for consumers to use in everyday situations, according to Voxx.

"Eyelock is the only iris authentication technology to employ fast motion video and dual eye authentication, allowing us to provide a more seamless, simple and user-friendly experience, with unparalleled levels of security," said Eyelock chief executive officer Jim Demitrieus.

"Partnering with VOXX Electronics guarantees our technology will reach the broadest possible audience and propel digital security into the next era."

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse