Before, iris scanners were the stuff of movies: dusty laser beams glazing over eyeballs in futuristic sci-fi flicks. The technology in real life was too slow, clunky, and expensive to be viable. But biometrics R&D firm Hoyos Corporation (formerly known as Global Rainmakers) has changed that, bringing the potential of a Minority Report-like future one step closer. Months ago, the company began building the “most secure city in the world” after one of the largest cities in Mexico agreed to fill its streets with Hoyos’ scanners. And today, Hoyos unveiled its smallest, least expensive, and most viable product yet: the EyeSwipe Nano.
At just 5.5 inches wide, 4 inches tall, and 3 inches deep, the companies latest iris scanner is not only a quarter of the size of the device’s previous iteration, the EyeSwipe Mini, but a quarter of its cost. The unit’s price is just $1,499, and using the same technology as Hoyos’ suite of biometrics products, the Nano can capture irises at a distance, in motion, at the rate of 20 people per minute. (Head here for our videos, images, and detailed run-down of Hoyos’ technology.)
“This is going to put the ability to do a biometric scan in the hands of virtually everyone in the world for a price that is comparable and competitive to card readers,” says company CDO Jeff Carter, explaining that orders at volume will make the Nano a sub-thousand dollar product. “The Nano has roughly the footprint of a dollar bill, and I think it’s going to allow us to target virtually everything–any applications where you’d have a typical card reader, whether entry to office buildings or banks or apartments.”
Carter says the company’s scanners have already received “tons and tons of business” from around the globe, and pre-orders for the Nano, which begin today, will ship by the end of January. Between the EyeSwipe Nano and EyeSwipe Mini, it almost feels the company is modeling its products and names after Apple’s–don’t the iPod Nano and EyeSwipe Nano have a similar ring? And perhaps it’s no coincidence: Thanks to the device’s shrinking size, Carter says the companies next step is entering the mobile space, allowing Big Brother to scan your eyes on the go.
Maybe they’ll call that the EyeSwipe Touch.
As a side-note, Carter also gave Fast Company readers an update on the progress of its scanners’ implementation in Leon, Mexico:
“Everything is going well,” he explains. “They have all the products. They’ve just about wrapping up Phase I, and are giving us another order for Phase II to add scanners to more buildings and government offices.”