You won't have to look your employees in the eye anymore if you install one of the newer, and more exotic, security and time-checking gizmos on the market: the device well do that for you. It's called the EyeDentification System 7.5, and it works by reading the blood-vessel patterns in an employee's retina, which it then compares with a copy in a database. "It's the highest form of positive identification in the world," claims Keith McGuire, president of EyeDentify Inc., of Beaverton, Ore., the nine-year-old, $2-million-a-year company that manufactures the system. "No two people have the same retinal pattern, and there's no way you can alter your eye." The company contends that the device has a false acceptance rate of only one in a million, making it more accurate than other systems based on fingerprints, voiceprints, or handprints.

Since it began producing the system a year ago, EyeDentify has sold more than 300 of them at $11,000 a crack, primarily to companies with security problems. But the technology's greatest appeal may lie in the potential savings on personnel costs for hourly employees, achieved by using EyeDentify's Time and Attendance System. McGuire contends that this system can save "an average company with 125 employees" $53,000 in the first year of operation by providing a more accurate record of the time that workers actually spend on the job. That's more or less accurate, according to John Pilkington, managing director of the Fort Wayne Hilton in Fort Wayne, Ind. "[The EyeDentify system] saved us 20% on payroll the first month, and now it's saving 40%," he says, adding that he expects it to pay for itself in six months.