World’s First Iris-Scanning Smartphone Debuts in Japan

World's First Iris-Scanning Smartphone Debuts in Japan

Fujitsu’s Arrows NX F-04G is the world’s first iris-scanning smartphone.

Fujitsu’s Arrows NX F-04G smartphone has hit the market in Japan, becoming the first in the world to arrive with built-in iris-scanning technology. It’s available through telecom provider NTT DoCoMo.

The mobile device sports a number of fairly standard premium smartphone features: 3GB of RAM, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a 21MP camera. The main distinguishing feature is the iris-scanning functionality, which is called Iris Passport. Once the user has completed an initial registration, the smartphone can be unlocked via iris scan in half a second. And the iris recognition can act as a password replacement on any of the device’s applications, too.

The Arrows NX F-04G runs on Android Lollipop, which has itself long supported another unusual mode of biometric authentication in the form of its Face Unlock feature. But Arrows’ iris-scanning capability is far more robust, attaining a security level appropriate for mPayment authentication – which could prove to be a major selling point as numerous mobile payment platforms enter the mainstream this year, including Google’s Android Pay. Whatever function it ends up performing in that domain, the embedded iris scanner represents a major step forward in mobile biometric authentication, taking users beyond the fingerprint recognition systems that are now more or less standard on premium devices.