Forget smart keys. With EyeLock’s ID tech, starting your car could be as simple as a look

Andrew Hard/Digital Trends
First, there was the Model T’s hand crank method, then there were the conventional keys of our youth. Smart keys came around in the ’90s, and today, you can start your car from blocks away.

What could be coming tomorrow? Let’s start with the EyeLock ‘myris.’

Myris, which was announced at this year’s CES, is a USB camera that takes a video of your eye. More specifically, it scans your iris, and from that creates a unique ‘fingerprint’ of the user. Biometrics like this can be used to lock computers, cells phones, and even your home, but New York firm EyeLock is developing a product that could immobilize your car.

The group is currently under contract with multiple OEMs to provide iris scanners for car visors and rear-view mirrors, reports Autoblog, however EyeLock won’t spill on who’s who.

EyeLock myrisWhen finished, EyeLock’s cameras will be able to identify and catalog the 240 distinct characteristics found in each individual iris. If you pass, your vehicle will start like something out of science fiction. If not, sit tight; this ride ain’t going nowhere. Probably.

The myris product offers what EyeLock calls “1-in-1.5 million security,” because those are the statistical odds for a false iris ID. According to the company, only DNA is more accurate, and we don’t want to think about how that might work.

Car starters aren’t the only application for EyeLock’s technology, though. Optical signatures could be linked to car settings like seat position, climate control, preferred phone contacts, and infotainment preferences.

You could even track fuel economy and driver habits of each member of your family. Anthony Antolino, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for EyeLock, explains.

“We all know that once you have a 16-year-old driver, your insurance premiums go through the roof, but what if that young child is a really responsible driver?” he said. “There’s no reason that household shouldn’t benefit from preferential premiums. It really does start with specifically knowing who’s in the driver’s seat, and that’s not possible with any other body part.”

Worried about hacks? Well, nothing is truly foolproof, but EyeLock has gone to great lengths to make its system secure. Once the scans are complete, they will be translated into code and encrypted with a cypher called AES-256, the same that the U.S. government uses to conceal top secret data.

Despite Tom Cruise’s success in Minority Report, a detached iris won’t make the cut either. EyeLock’s camera can reportedly identify if the eyeball is attached to a live person or not.

The way we see it, if someone has your baby blues in hand, automotive security is the least of your worries. Stay tuned for more updates.


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