Rumors say iris scanners coming to more phones in the future, including Apple's iPhones

Rumors say iris scanners coming to more phones in the future, including Apple's iPhones
As we know thanks to an overwhelming amount of leaks and reports, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, which we are about to see unveiled on the 2nd of August, will have an iris scanner module. While not an industry first, it certainly is the first high-profile Android device to have such technology installed, and all eyes are turned to Samsung, waiting to see if the implementation will work great or fail badly (a-la Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner, if you will).

Whether it will be good or not, however, doesn't change the fact that the road has been paved for more devices to come out with iris scanner locks, hopefully improving on the technology in the process. According to reports from alleged industry insiders, some of the less-known China-based companies, such as Xiaomi, LeEco, and 360 Qiku are already developing their own versions of phone-mounted iris scanners.

According to the same sources, Apple has been working on the new biometric tech as well, however, we won't be seeing an iris scanner on an iPhone before 2018.

The stream of rumors is accompanied by reports that part manufacturers Qualcomm, Truly Opto-Electronics, O-film Tech, and Beijing IrisKing have all increased production of their biometric scanner solutions.

Fingerprint scanners have gotten to the point they are accurate, fast, and cheap enough to be installed on lower tier devices. However, they are not 100% secure, as hackers have shown that spoofing the owner's print is easy, and gaining access to their phone is possible. In the age when we fill our smartphones to the brim with our sensitive information, it only makes sense that manufacturers would try to offer an even better type of protection. Iris scans are thought to be nigh un-spoofable, which is why this has been chosen as the next step.

source: DigiTimes via Pocketnow



1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered


2. paul.k

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Kind of like rumors, but much more speculative. :)

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered


4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

people will stop calling it gimmick when their favorite phone manufacturer include iris scanner inside its new flagship

5. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Let's see how well it works - if it doesn't work with glasses, low light, strong light, puffy eyes, after drinking alcohol or any of the other numerous caveats it's being said to have then it's a gimmick. The fingerprint scanner works very reliably on modern phones - anything new should be better or it's not worth the effort.

8. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

^ This, This and This. Especially because of the fact that the FPS blew the passcode unlock system out of the water. So until it works seemlessly, with low light, with glasses, from the locked screen, from any angle, it'll remain a gimmick. Anything that has to come out now should be head and shoulders be better then the finger print sensors, which the iris scanner in its current form isn't even close to being, hence we call it a confirmed gimmick.

15. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Hackers can't simply get your iris, right??

11. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

It it worked with all of those conditions then it really isn't working securely is it? Look at the screen shots. It allows for secondary unlock function

14. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I have the Lumia 950XL. It works fine in complete dark, with typical glasses (may have trouble with extremely rare strong prescriptions), works with sun shades or any time really. Only issue is if the sun is shining directly at the camera from behind you. But turning quickly solves the issue. It takes about a second to unlock. It used to be like 4 when it came out but many software/firmware releases later and it's great. It lets you optimize it too. Works at decent angles/distance. It can only get better from there on.

16. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

Point is that if the optics of your glasses is impacting the way your iris looks then it shouldn't work right? Same goes things that impact how ones iris looks. If it works after those changes to the iris, then it's not really working No one knows how this implementation or the future implementation works but seeing how they're using IR, it should work in the dark right?

18. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

For glasses many things come to play. But the way your iris looks through a visible light spectrum is not the same as it looks using IR. The index or refraction, dispersion and index gradient all come into play. So the glasses have to be very strong to actually affect the IR enough to cause change. Furthermore there's algorithms that authenticate based off things like iris pits etc.. It's a pretty complex tech.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

There are caveats for fingerprint scanners as well. If you have dirt, paint, or grease on your fingers, if you get a cut on it, basically if anything on your finger changes it can affect a FPS. And since your fingers are one of the most likely things to come in contact with things in the world, they have the greatest chance of something changing them. I'm not saying that an iris scanner may not be a gimmick, but having something else in concert with FPS, pins, and passwords is never a bad thing, and I'd imagine it can be disabled if you don't like it. It also may take a few iterations to tweak and get right. Look at what changed from the original FPS on the Motorola Atrix to now and how long it took to perfect. It may take some time for them to get the bugs out. Personally, I'm waiting for a retina scanner.

21. Plutonium239

Posts: 1244; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

It will work with any glasses that don't block IR. It uses an IR camera and works just fine through glasses and in pitch black. My Lumia 950 has an IR LED on the front to enable it to read my iris in the dark, if you train it to your eyes in various lighting scenarios or with glasses on and off, etc, it is much better at reading your iris reliably. It is much more secure than a fingerprint scanner. Often my Lumia 950 will unlock itself with the iris scanner before I have the opportunity to even input my pin.

6. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

I don't get all the hate on the Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor. Obviously there are much better sensors now (and even at the time of the S5), where you don't have to swipe, but it did its job and worked most of time when I had mine.

9. maherk

Posts: 7012; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It was useless for me, both on my S5 and Note 4. Sure it would work if you used both your hands to unlock it, but it was near impossible to unlock it using one hand.

13. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I have no trouble unlocking the S5 onehandednd on the first try. Maybe I just have great hands.

17. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

You're not alone. If you understand how it works, then you can do it fairly easy (If my wife is doing this easily on her Note4 then most others can). Not to say there aren't limitations like needing a swipe in certain direction and finger has to be in certain orientation, etc

7. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Unless it can work seemlessly from a sleeping phone by just looking at it from any angle, it'll remain a Gimmick!!!! Just like the useless gimmicky early days samsung galaxy finger print scanners that was even more inconvenient than password options. It stopped being a gimmick for them when they did right, just like apple/Nexus/OP2 got it right from the get go. Anyway iris scanners aren't bad or anything its just that it isn't as convenient as the FPS or revolutionary or that big of a jump like the way the FPS was to the passcode/password option, which was night and day more convenient, faster and more secure. Something the average consumer could easily relate to and couldn't dare call a gimmick (at least the sane people)

23. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So you want the iris scanner to be constantly scanning for an iris, 24/7? That'll make for great battery life. And how will it work off axis? Regular iris and retina scanners don't work that way. You have to be facing the scanner head on. Next you're going to want it to work with your eyes closed as well. Or maybe fingerprint scanners should work without having the finger touch them. It's amazing how lazy people are getting. "You mean I have to turn on the device? I have to press a button! MAJOR FAIL!!!"

10. twens

Posts: 1184; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

I'm so glad manufacturers don't actually listen to some people here on the internet. If you can do it better shut up and do it. Samsung can add a microwave to their phones if they like. There is a reason we have choices plus other manufacturers. If you don't like gimmick shut up and buy something else. Some comments here are so annoying. No one is forcing a feature on you. I use an iPhone 6s Plus and I don't use force touch. Doesn't mean it's a gimmick. I am just not used to it. I will rather tap on the app and open it. I don't use Live Photos as well, I even don't use the 4K recording feature on my iPhone. Does it mean they're all gimmicks? It's time to grow up

12. willard12 unregistered

Amen. People have the idea that if they don't personally use something then it's a gimmick for everyone else. They are already calling the 3.5 mm jack a useless gimmick. Yet, companies will still make adapters for a jack that is a "gimmick".

19. John-Knotts

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Thank you both. Excellent post.

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