Rumors over LG and Samsung flagships packing iris scanners were quickly snuffed at the very beginning of the year (2014, that is). Whether such technology was ever legitimately being looked at or not is a matter for debate, but while we ponder that, it looks as though ViewSonic may be ready to introduce a decidedly mid-range spec’d device with a bio-metric feature no other smartphone currently has.
The ViewSonic V55 was apparently planned to be released late in 2014, but the year has passed along, and so it may be a news maker for early 2015. The V55 is said to be equipped with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 at 1.4GHz, 2GB or RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage, and a 5.5-inch 1080p display. On the back, a Sony sourced 13-megapixel camera that will accept external add-on lenses.
On the front, hidden from view, a small iris scanner in the upper-right of the bezel is protected by a small sliding component. Just as with fingerprints, once the scanner has mapped the iris, only the owner can unlock the device. Unlike fingerprints however, it is virtually impossible to spoof the pattern of an iris. The V55 has some pretty thin looking bezels on the sides, with a notable chin and forehead housing the iris scanner and what appears to be a good-sized speaker and earpiece.
The iris scanner is said to have functionality to enable the user to lock files or photos, so if the device were handed off to someone other than the owner, those files are protected.
ViewSonic is not a big player in the mobile space, the last mobile phone we have seen from the company was the ViewPhone 5E, a basic smartphone from 2012. The same goes for its tablet offerings too, the ViewPad E100, also from 2012.
Information about when or where the V55 will launch, and for how much, is not available. Its insides do not scream flagship price, but other flagships are not equipped to scan an iris either. That said, the V55 will probably have a competitive price point.
What do you think of an iris scanner as a way to unlock your device and handle other sensitive features?