EyeVerify, a mobile security company, launches this month with an "eye-printing" tool that uses a phone's camera and the veins in our eyes in lieu of a password. But peepers are delicate. For anyone worried about conjunctivitis locking them out of their phone, CEO Toby Rush explains the tech.
"What makes your eyes pink is lots of small capillaries," says Rush. "We look at thicker veins, not the capillaries, so bloodshot eyes, allergies, and even pinkeye don't matter."
"We make two eyeprints for each eye, one on each side of the pupil. So, really, we have four eyeprints to match against. It's like fingerprints—if you cut a finger, you have four others to use."
"Contact lenses cover only the iris or color of your eyes—they don't go into the white. It's the same thing with pupil dilation; we look outside the pupil, so none of that impacts us, period."
"If you pull an eye out of someone's head, the vessels will have no more blood coming into them. That causes them to change or even disappear, which physically changes the actual vein pattern."
HOLDING UP A VIDEO OF AN EYE
"We can challenge the eyeball by changing focus, exposure, white balance, and more. With a live eye, that would produce a change in the image exactly when it happens."
A version of this article appeared in the March 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.