It’s not too often Planet Biometrics’ editors get excited by a new product. But leading our news column this week is a smart watch – FiDELYS – that not only looks technologically sophisticated, but pretty suave too…With its promise to use iris recognition from IriTech to secure data and applications/transactions on the owners’ accompanying mobile phone/PC, it ticks many of the right boxes for us.
There’s just one or two fairly major problems…First – and perhaps most frustratingly – the watch doesn’t yet exist beyond beautiful technical and marketing designs. Secondly, significant amounts of cash must still be raised to realise this dream. (The developers will launch the concept on crowdfunding website Indiegogo tomorrow.)
And that’s not to mention the technical hurdles that will need to be overcome to fit an iris recognition system inside the confines of a watch that will satisfy the demands of unhabituated users in diverse environments.
So what do we know? The watch proposes to use a tiny infra-red LED to allow the camera to capture the user’s iris day or night. Once habituated, Iritech says recognition will take less than a second and the ideal distance to do this will be 15cm-20cm.
Meanwhile, the iris image is captured, but never leaves the phone. Instead the watch will generate a key that will be sent to an owners’ phone, laptop, PC, gateway etc., giving them access to whatever application is being requested.
It is a bold vision, but in our opinion IriTech is taking a reputational risk. The company is putting great faith in the ability of its algorithms to deliver – and for the hardware to be user friendly enough not to frustrate users. The company notes that it was ranked #1 in the US government’s IREX Test when dealing with very challenging data sets (at an FAR of 1e-6, its FRR was less than 0.2%). Let us hope this performance will be enough in the real world…
To conclude. We like risk takers, and will certainly be in line with our small cash donation.
Mark Lockie, Editor
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