Bringing back a bit of the sexiness of gadgets more suited to Ethan Hunt, James Bond or Captain “kicking it old-school” Kirk, Research in Motion is making your BlackBerry an “eye-device,” with information from your iris stored inside.
This means you could flash your Blackberry instead of an employee ID card to open doors at work. Embedded iCLASS technology would serve as a digital credential and allow NFC-enabled BlackBerry 7 smartphones to transmit your identity when held up to an iCAM7000 iris camera.
NFC, by the way, means near field communications, which enables devices to have contactless transactions or exchange data just by being in proximity of each other. In some ways, what BlackBerry 7 devices will be able to do is akin to paying for your latte with your smartphone, except it’s your identity — not money — that’s being transmitted when scanned.
In essence, it can take the place of a physical ID card.
“NFC enables smartphones to become even smarter mobile computing platforms, and this is another great example that demonstrates the potential that NFC on mobile devices brings to the physical access control space.”
This technology is often mistakenly called “iris-scanning,” but there’s no scanning involved in iris recognition. Instead, it’s a bit like pattern-capturing in some of today’s camcorders.
Here’s what happens, according to the Iris ID site: A person is positioned about three inches to 14 inches from the iris camera, and a digital video is taken of her iris. Then, still images are captured from the video using a frame grabber, and an algorithm analyzes patterns in the iris that are visible between the pupil and white of the eye and converts them into a 512-byte digital template. That’s what’s stored in a database and transferred at areas where you have access privileges.
And, in about two seconds, you’re identified — no PINs, passwords or access cards. And with this, no eyes needed, just your all-knowing BlackBerry.
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