A professor at Clarkson University in New York is predicting a bright future for iris recognition systems in mobile devices. Prof. Stephanie Schuckers points to the recent launch in Japan of Fujistu’s Arrows NX F-04G as a sign of things to come.
Fujitsu’s new smartphone is the first in the world to use built-in iris recognition for user authentication, allowing for a secure and extremely convenient means of unlocking the device; the user needs only to look at it for half a second. While accuracy is undeniably important, Prof. Schuckers points in an interview to the convenience of the system as a key selling point, asserting that the “nice thing about iris recognition is you don’t have to touch something,” and adding, “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that we’ll see iris recognition devices in the U.S. in the near future.” And while she acknowledges the robust accuracy of iris recognition, she also notes the risk of spoofing and the need for liveness detection.
To that end, the Professor is working with researchers at the school’s Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) to spur further research into the security vulnerabilities – and potential solutions – associated with iris recognition. They’re launching a Liveness Detection (LivDet) Competition Series to find the most accurate and spoof-proof algorithms. With top researchers investigating such technology, we can hope to see convenient and secure iris recognition systems on smartphones beyond Japan in the near future.