OmniVision Launches Iris Scanner for Mobile Devices

HiResDigital imaging solutions provider OmniVision Technologies has launched a new iris scanner for mobile devices. Called the OV2281 PureCell sensor, it’s being promoted as a low-power, compact sensor for tablets, notebooks, and smartphones.

It is indeed compact. Using 1.12-micron pixel technology, the 1/7.5″ sensor can fit into a 5.5 x 5.5 mm module with a height of only 4.5 mm. And in terms of energy consumption, at its lowest setting it can run on only 25 mW. In terms of scanning capability, the OV2281 can record 1080p video at 60 FPS, allowing it to perform highly accurate iris scanning.

Fingerprint scanning is currently the dominant biometric modality on mobile devices, but there is an emerging demand for iris-based authentication products. OmniVision product manager Archie de Guzman believes the situation is evolving, asserting in a press release that given “the convergence of digital identities, security concerns and mobile commerce… iris detection appears poised to become the next trend in biometric security for mobile devices.”

He may be onto something. Earlier this year, Samsung decided to integrate iris scanning technology into one of its major tablets, and this summer the world’s first iris scanning smartphone debuted in Japan. Meanwhile, market research firm Tractica predicted that between 2015 and 2024, the smartphone iris scanning market will grow at a CAGR of 24 percent.