California-based biometrics developer Delta ID has announced that its iris-scanning technology is powering a new smartphone’s authentication system. That smartphone, NTT DoCoMo’s Arrows NX F-04G, is just hitting the Japanese market now.
The smartphone was developed by Fujitsu, but its iris biometric technology came by way of Delta’s ActiveIRIS system, which allows users of the device to unlock it simply by looking at it. In a statement, Fujitsu’s Head of Mobile Phones Business Unit, Katsumi Takada, called it “a first of its kind in the industry.” And there are plans to put it to use beyond mere phone unlocking; soon it could be used for mobile payment authentication, and to control access to a number of other online services.
DoCoMo has increasingly been exploring the use of biometrics in customer and user authentication, and for good reason. Consumer attitudes are quickly changing as users embrace the convenience and security of biometrics for authentication, and there are indications that a substantial number of younger users expect to use iris scanning for such purposes in the future. Given that iris scanning offers a particularly passive authentication experience, at least in smartphone deployments, systems like the one used in the Arrows NX F-04G could prove highly popular in the market.