The growing number of smartphone thefts, both in the United States and abroad, has prompted manufacturers and software developers to build more resilient security into devices. Fujitsu, for instance, recently released the Arrows NX F04G smartphone, which contains a light-emitting diode that supports iris scanning authentication.
Such technology is needed to protect personal information against theft. A recent report from the Federal Communications Committee found that more than a million smartphone thefts are reported in the United States each year. Because smartphones hold lots of personal data, companies are investing in alternatives to passcode locks.
The infrared light source, developed by Osram Opto Semiconductors, illuminates the user's eye while a camera takes a photograph of the iris. Using an application called Iris Passport, the smartphone identifies all of the characteristic features of the iris and unlocks the device if they match the smartphone owner's.
The IRED has a wavelength of 810 nm, which allows the smartphone to identify iris patterns for all eye colors. The entire process only takes half a second, Fujitsu said in a statement.