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Fujitsu reveals iris scanner that unlocks smartphones

Fujitsu isn't a well-known brand in the world of smartphones, but that could all change soon. At MWC 2015, the Japanese company introduced the first prototype mobile device with iris scanning system. Ethan Hunt would be impressed. 

fujitsu iris scanner
A major innovation at MWC 2015 was Fujitsu's prototype smartphone with iris scanner. / © ANDROIDPIT

Fujitsu plans to launch its first smartphone with the "iris scanner" technology by the end of the year. While the technology has a number of functions (including a new way to unlock your smartphone) the big draw is the security that it will provide for smartphone payments. 

The device will be able to instantly read your iris, something which Fujitsu believes will be crucial for the new generation of smartphones. The iris, like a fingerprint, is extraordinarily difficult (if not impossible) to recreate or clone. This security system will allow us to forget about passwords and pin-codes; the unlock will always be uniquely tied to the individual.

fujitsu close iris scanner
The infrared iris sensor sits on top of Fujitsu's prototype device. / © ANDROIDPIT

Fujitsu claims that its iris scanner is far more effective than current smartphone fingerprint sensors, which, as many YouTube videos will show you, are quite prone to failure. This new system works through a combination of an infrared LED and an infrared camera. The LED emits a light that the human eye cannot detect, but that is processed in the iris, and the camera records these processes to identify the person.

Iris scanning technology has been a hot-topic for a while now, but will 2015 be the year that it finally takes off? Give us your thoughts in the comments below. 

4 comments

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  • "The iris, like a fingerprint, is extraordinarily difficult (if not impossible) to recreate or clone."
    Nope, iris is a much better biometrics than fingerprint and indeed much harder to clone (if possible at all). Essentially it provides much more biometrics data to use.

    "The LED emits a light that the human eye cannot detect, but that is processed in the iris, and the camera records these processes to identify the person."
    That is not how it works. There are no processes. Simply put, the features of the iris are much better visible under the IR light and that is why it is used. The IR camera only snaps the image of the eye under the IR light. Then follows a very sophisticated and specialized image processing and that is actually the heart of the system.

    I believe and know it is a better system for biometrics identification/verification, but from the images it looks a bit bulky. I would like for it to be seamlessly integrated into the phone, positioned somewhere beside frontfacing camera and sensors and not separated like this.

    BTW, Fujitsu is one of the pioneers in iris biometrics and biometrics in general, so it's not a strange thing that this comes from them.

  • Fang Mar 4, 2015 Link to comment

    This is crazy, but useful too for home security.

  • Sure hope the Samsung Galaxy S7 would have it :)

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