A new smartwatch is about to hit crowd funding website Indiegogo. It’s called the FiDELYS and rather than just another notification device strapped to your wrist, it comes with an iris recognition, designed to free us from the nightmare of remembering ever-more complicated passwords. We’ve been hearing about iris recognition for a while, and although the feature has been rumored for inclusion on smartphones such as the LG G3 and the Galaxy S5, it has yet hit the mainstream.
The promo video gives us a brief overview of how the technology works. A small camera mounted at the base of a circular screen captures an image of your eye, and automatically unlocks secure websites and services. Provided a magnetic seal on the watch’s clasp remains unbroken, you won’t have to continually sign back in either. The technology has been developed by a company named IriTech, which has created a low-cost camera module that crucially, is effective outdoors in bright sunlight.
IriTech’s iris recognition system won’t only be used for password management. The company wants to use the same process to keep files and apps installed on your phone or computer safe, and to make other connected devices and products more secure in the future. For example, smart homes and smart cars could both benefit from having entry systems that rely on iris verification.
It’s a smartwatch and a fitness tracker too
Naturally, the FiDELYS also functions as a smartwatch, meaning it’ll alert you to incoming calls, messages and emails, plus it has NFC for unlocking compatible locks, and authenticating online payments. A heart rate sensor and pedometer turn the watch into a fitness tracker, and there’s wireless charging too.
Interestingly, the circular watch face doesn’t appear to be a touchscreen, and instead it’ll be controlled using the bezel. The operating system isn’t known, but is most likely to be proprietary, due to the FiDELYS being compatible with Android, Windows, Linux, and in the near future, iOS and OS X too.
The Indiegogo campaign is set to go live later today, and pre-orders will start at $200, a $50 discount over the expected retail cost. Considering this matches the price of a Gear Fit, and is close to that of the newly announced Android Wear watches, it sounds like good value. The final shipping date is expected to be April 2015.