Dystopian, ingenious, or a complete waste of time? Patent filings reveal strange new plans from one of the world’s biggest car makers.
Hyundai and its subsidiaries could ditch traditional car keys for futuristic eye-scanners, newly published patents suggest.
Since 2016 the Korean car giant has filed to protect at least five designs in the USA referencing “an apparatus for recognising an iris.”
The documents suggest the feature would be used to verify the identity of a driver before the vehicle could be switched on.
According to designers, the technology would comprise “a camera configured to acquire eyeball image data” and “a computer program to extract [this] information.”
JaeHo Lee and Seon A Kim are listed as the inventors of the eye scanner. According to LinkedIn, both are currently employed as research engineers at Hyundai.
The is no timeline for the technology’s roll-out, and the existence of patent filings does not guarantee a design is destined for production.
Manufacturers often file to protect products to safeguard against future developments, or prevent competitors from appropriating an idea.
However, this is not the first time biometric devices have been incorporated into vehicle design by the automotive industry.
In the 2000s Mercedes-Benz developed fingerprint scanners to unlock doors, however disabled the feature locally amid fears thieves may attempt to cut off owners hands to game the system.
Since 2019, Hyundai and its luxury brand Genesis have installed a similar fingerprint feature on some models – including the Santa Fe SUV and GV70.
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