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Fujitsu smartphone introduces iris-scanning for mobile identification

Thu 14 May 2015

A partnership between Fujitsu and Japanese communications group NTT Docomo has unveiled a new iris-scanning technology for its Arrows NX F-04G smartphone set for release this summer.

According to NTT, the new Arrows model is the first phone to use iris recognition to unlock the device, for e-payments, and app logins. The scanner uses an integrated Delta ID ActiveIRIS module, which consists of an LED light to illuminate the eye and a front-facing infrared camera that is able to trace ocular patterns and movements to identify a unique user.

A template of each eye is taken using the infrared camera. Following an original reading, the module is able to detect a user’s eyes from up to 50 metres away. The technology is able to identify eyes in less than a second, and on a number of occasions less than 150 milliseconds – even with eyes behind a pair of glasses. Fujitsu explained that such speed was necessary to enable successful and secure online mobile payments.

The latest Arrow phone, which will run on Android Lollipop 5.0, will also provide up to 32 Gb of storage and a 5.2-inch QHD display. The device will only be available in Japan for the time being.

The Japanese firms are not the only companies looking to develop systems using biometric identification. At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this year smartphone maker ZTE announced that it would be using EyeVerify in its new model Grand S3 – a cybersecurity software which reads the veins in a user’s eye.

Qualcomm is also exploring its Sense ID which uses ultrasound to read the ridges and pores in a person’s fingerprint and to monitor blood flow.

Fujitsu and NTT Docomo hope that the ActiveIRIS technology will be used beyond smartphone authentication, progressing to a complete business and banking security solution.


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