Typing a password into your smartphone might be a reasonable way to access the sensitive information it holds, but a startup called EyeVerify thinks it would be easier—and more secure—to just look into the phone’s camera lens and move your eyes to the side.
EyeVerify’s software identifies you by your “eyeprints,” the pattern of veins in the whites of your eyes. Everybody has four eyeprints, two in each eye on either side of the iris. The company claims that its method is as accurate as a fingerprint or iris scan, without requiring any special hardware.
The Kansas City, Kansas-based company plans to roll out its software in the first half of next year. CEO and founder Toby Rush envisions a range of uses for it, including authenticating people who want to use smartphones to access their online medical records or bank accounts. Rush says phone manufacturers are interested in embedding the software into handsets so that many applications can use it for authenticating people, though he declined to name any prospective partners.
The technology behind EyeVerify comes from Reza Derakhshani, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Derakhshani, the company’s chief scientist, was a co-recipient of a patent for the eye-vein biometrics behind EyeVerify in 2008.