At the launch of the new Vivo X5 Pro, available in China, one of the key features is the eye recognition software, which scans the iris for security purposes. Ultimately, the technology is in place to make our lives easier by allowing us to sign into websites, accounts and similar, so that we may complete online transactions or simply unlock our device to use it. And iris scanning technology has only recently become available for consumer handsets: there are only a very small number of devices with the technology onboard and it is at least two years behind the fingerprint scanner (and of course, this has now become old news!). And today, we have news that Japan’s NTT Docomo is preparing to launch a new device into the Japanese market, the Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G.
Unfortunately, the Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G is only going to be sold in Japan at this time, which is sadly a common trait of smartphone devices from Fujitsu. The Arrows NX F-04G has a number of interesting features, some of which are rapidly becoming standard for high end Android devices, but the headline feature is an iris scanner designed for eye recognition. The Arrows uses a front facing infrared camera in combination with an infrared LED to illuminate the user’s eyes and read the iris pattern, which is as unique as a fingerprint. Apart from the iris scanner camera technology, the NX F-04G has a 5.2-inch screen with a 1440p resolution (that is, 1,440 by 2,560 pixels) with a very high pixel density of 565ppi. The device comes with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard local storage, but pricing and availability is not yet know but as I’ve written, unless you’re in Japan you won’t be able to get hold of the Arrows – so if you’re looking for a device with an iris scanner, it’s time to hope that Vivo sell the X5 in your region.
As I’ve written above, iris scanning technology is lagging behind fingerprint technology by perhaps a couple of years. As a means of securing our devices, iris scanning along with other biometric ways, sounds like a great idea. There are, of course, the same restrictions and limitations with a biometric scanner as there are with an old fashioned password. Critically, if somebody were able to access our security information and change the iris that is being scanned, there needs to be an effective way to wrestle control back – this will likely involve a recovery email password system. Nevertheless, Samsung are believed to be working on an iris scanner feature for an up and coming device, so if you’re not able to pick up the Fujitsu or Vivo, perhaps the Note 5 or S7 will have the feature?