The device is a breakthrough for the iris recognition industry as the price (estimated MSRP at $250) and form factor was unprecedented. If you preorder on Indiegogo.com, it will cost only around $200. The convergence of biometrics and wearables will take both industries to a new level as finally it shows the possibility of iris recognition technology widespread as a consumer device. The watch's UI is also special as it will feature a rotating-clicking bezel - IriTech believes touchscreens are not the best choice for form factors as small as a watch.
IriTech was established in 2000, with a singular focus on delivering the most accurate, compact and price effective iris recognition cameras. "IriTech's technology will authenticate the user through IriTech's military grade iris recognition algorithms to enhance security around our digital life and further for the Internet-of-Things" says Daniel Kim, CEO of IriTech. IriTech's algorithm was top ranked in the US government's NIST test for its accuracy and is utilized by various institutions such as the US Navy, Lockheed Martin, Indian Government, etc. In fact, IriTech is the only iris recognition company certified for the Indian government's UIDAI project's authentication market - UIDAI the largest biometrics project in the world at the moment, with the Indian government's ambitious plan to register all 1.2 billion Indian resident's with biometric data.
IriTech notes that it's technology has an FAR of 1e-6, with FRR less than 0.2% and could capture the iris image under various environments, including under direct sunlight. The captured iris image will never leave FiDELYS, but will generate a key that will be sent to the owner's phone, laptop, PC, gateway etc. giving them access to whatever application is being requested, so you don't need to worry about your iris image being exposed. Also, Iritech informs that the biggest concern of iris recognition, people losing their eyes is now a myth. IriTech has a patented technology for detecting "live" irises. High quality images, videos or non-live irises will not be recognized.
But what could the iris recognition feature do on a smartwatch? According to IriTech, the FiDELYS will solve three major problems our generation is facing. The Password plague, Privacy issues and Authentication issues.
PASSWORDS - There have been several password breaches on major websites during the past few months alone and after the recent Heartbleed Bug, the number of passwords we need to remember to avoid getting hacked, is a plague itself. The inefficiencies are not only for individuals but also for businesses that waste time on supporting customers to recover their passwords. With an iris scanner on your wrist, the FiDELYS will eliminate the need to remember user credentials when logging in to Web sites, email accounts and bank accounts. The user's identity will be verified by the smartwatch. It's a great solution at a time where cameras are everywhere to snoop your password with a glance while you key in your password.
PRIVACY - You can easily find ways to hack device pins on youtube.com. So what happens to your sensitive information on your device? Especially when we have most of our personal information such as, bank information, contacts and pictures on our smart devices?
The FiDELYS can encrypt/decrypt files and data, control launch of applications (bank apps, picture galleries, emails etc.) and lock/unlock your device itself by verifying your iris pattern. Thus the risk of exposing personal information will diminish significantly as iris recognition is considered the most secure biometric modality due to its complexity and difficulty to replicate.
AUTHENTICATION - IoT or Internet of Things, a development of the Internet with everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data, is going big. However, there is fear over privacy and trust issues as the magnitude of security breaches could have much more extreme consequences when control of the data goes into the wrong hands (click link for examples) compared to the past when everything was simple.
"Our expertise of embedding our strong algorithm in a compact form-factor at a competitive price is a perfect fit for smartwatches, which will be the center of wearables and IoT. We want to play a role in enhancing the security and solving inefficiencies by developing the FiDELYS" says Jungwoon Ryu, Head of Business Development. "We have already developed an application called FIYO (For-Your-Iris-Only) for password replacement and encryption of files and data back in 2012 and available on GooglePlay with our IriShield cameras, which are compatible with Windows, Android and Linux. We are developing for Apple products at the moment. Now is the time to bring it to consumers. With IriShield, FYIO and FiDELYS, we hope to bring peace of mind to people in the digital world. That's the whole point of biometrics. To reduce concerns over privacy and security."