Hoyos is introducing a $99 iris scanner that could well replace the conventional means of supplying credentials for authentication. Right now the product is USB-based and presumably allows you to log onto your desktop.
But the company has more ambitious goals. Because the iris is so unique, the scanner can be used when physically authenticating your accounts with institutions like your bank. Says Hoyos:
Individuals cashing checks or opening accounts have their irises and face captured in real-time, along with an image of the check which is read and cross referenced to the iris DB…which are associated to their transaction. If the transaction is fraudulent, their iris and face are sent to fraud deterrence watch list. Upon attempting a second “attack,” the individual’s iris read in real-time generates an alarm when opening a checking account.
Though I could see this as a quick way to authenticate for Windows, it’s not worth 99 bucks. If you’re looking to protect data on a PC, then encrypt it with free tools from Microsoft. What we need is a device that allows us to scan our iris and authenticate anywhere, not just when logging into Windows. I log into Windows once or twice a day, but I’m entering my credentials dozens of times to do some of my most routine tasks.
If you work in IT, then I’m sure you’re having the same experience. What we need is a Windows Live ID type of service, but integrated not just into Microsoft public sites, but every place where we work. Credentials only ask me to prove that I am me. My iris can do it better.