Iris Scanning on Japanese Smartphones


Japan’s NTT DoCoMo has unveiled iris scanning on its new smartphone to meet privacy and security issues as more and more apps and services such as shopping, payments, banking and salaries make their way onto our phones. The Arrows NX F-04G phone is a product partnering between NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu. Arrows’ iris scanning allows users to unlock the phone, make mobile payments and log into websites and apps by scanning the iris in their eye.

Setting up your ‘password’ is simply a matter of taking a photo of your iris with your phone. Arrows uses a Delta ID component, consisting of an LED light and infrared camera, to read the pattern of your iris from up to 50cm away to retrieve the ‘password’.

There are no plans to release Arrows outside Japan but it seems likely that iris scanning will be introduced on other phones because it provides high-level security. For example, the chance of copying fingerprints with sticky tape for example. If you’re using fingerprints to unlock your iPhone try opening it with a sticky tape copy. You might be surprised or shocked by the possibilities.

This video is in Japanese – it shows people unable to remember their passwords using the iris scan feature to unlock accounts.