ViaTouch Media Integrates EyeLock Iris-Recognition Technology Into Vicki Smart-Shelf Vending Machine

Posted On: 11/15/2017

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NEW YORK CITY - ViaTouch Media is integrating EyeLock LLC's embedded iris-recognition technology into its Vicki "smart-shelf" vending machines, which are set to hit the market in January. EyeLock's technology will be operable with First Data online payment network, providing consumers with what the companies say is an unprecedented level of transaction convenience and security enabled by unmatched biometric accuracy.

ViaTouch will unveil Vicki on Nov. 16, at The Freedom Tower in New York City to a group of customers, partners and potential investors. EyeLock will also showcase Vicki at parent company Voxx International Corp.'s booth at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, Jan. 9-12. 

The initial group of Vicki machines will be placed in universities, Apple stores (for employee use), hotels, hospitals and retail partners. Vicki machines using New York City-based EyeLock's technology will be available in early 2018. 

"ViaTouch is proud to innovate with EyeLock and First Data to create the most secure AI iris-authentication self-checkout payment solution in the world," said ViaTouch Media chief executive Tom Murn.

EyeLock's iris-authentication technology looks at more than 240 unique iris characteristics. Iris authentication is highly secure because no two irises are alike and the iris is the most accurate human identifier other than DNA. The company's IP portfolio, including more than 100 patents and patents pending, enables the convenient and secure authentication of individuals across all environments and applications.

Eyelock's designs have working distances of up to 2 feet with what the company says is a false-accept rate of 1 in 1.5 million for single eye authentication and a false- reject rate of less than 1%. EyeLock's solutions have been integrated and embedded across consumer and enterprise products and platforms, eliminating the need for PINs and passwords. 

"This new partnership with ViaTouch is a major breakthrough for EyeLock," said EyeLock chief executive Jim Demitrieus. "For years, we have been investing in our IP portfolio, working with industry leaders in technology and across a diverse set of industries to introduce a portfolio of embedded products. This win is indicative of the many potential commercialized applications for iris authentication. The ViaTouch partnership underscores an innovative approach to protecting consumer identity and transaction security."

Murn, a veteran vending operator who founded and owns Answer Vending (Farmingdale, NY), one of metropolitan New York's largest operations, formed New York City-based ViaTouch Media four years ago. His goal was to apply artificial intelligence and other contemporary technologies to improving the consumer goods shopping experience. 

In June 2016, the company launched the high-tech Lisa vending machine, which stands for Luxury Interactive smart shelves. The interactive machine was designed to customize interaction between consumers and technology to drive better consumer engagement. From Lisa, Vicki (ViaTouch Intellishelf Cognitive Kinetic Interactions) was born, leveraging artificial intelligence to bring the consumer experience more in line with today's smartphones.

Vicki recognizes and authenticates each consumer, learns their preferences and then acts upon them, serving as a virtual clerk. Much like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, the machine engages with consumers by talking to them. It manages and executes loyalty programs, discounts and other incentives through real-time interactive media and artificial intelligence technology. 

Vicki is equipped with smart shelves that "know" what products consumers look at, pick up, put back and view on display. Directional speakers ensure that "conversations" are only between the machine and consumer.

Once the consumer's identity and payment mechanism is validated via credit card, eye or thumb biometrics connected to a "getVicki" account, he or she is able to open the machine's door and browse. Once the patron makes a final product selection, Vicki displays it, along with the price. When the door is closed, the purchase is complete.

Coming next, ViaTouch said it plans to add Apple VAS (value added services) technology to Vicki in the near future.  This will be enabled by First Data and Worldnet.