Scan your eyes, and buy some fries: Fujitsu shows off mobile payments with an iris scanner

fujitsu arrow iris scanning phone 2
Paying for something with your smartphone may soon become as easy as giving it a passing glance. That’s thanks to the iris-scanning Arrows NX F-04G smartphone, the fruit of a partnership between Fujitsu and Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.

The Arrows, which DoCoMo says is the world’s first to offer iris recognition for phone unlocking, mobile wallet payments, and Web logins, uses an integrated Delta ID ActiveIRIS module for scanning. The component consists of an LED light and infrared camera that reads the pattern of your iris to retrieve the “password,” so to speak — you create “templates” of both eye by taking a photo, and the modules match your eyes from up to 50 centimeters away.

It’s tech we got to demo at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain earlier this year with a prototype from Fujitsu. ActiveIRIS worked quite well, managing to scan the irises of three people — some with glasses, some without — in less than a second (and sometimes in as few as 150 milliseconds, we were told). That kind of speed is essential for mobile payments and the like. Three years ago, management of London’s Tube deemed NFC technology too slow to meet the transportation system’s demands.

As far as the rest of the Arrows’ specifications are concerned, they’re a tad lacking. The display is a bit smaller than we’re used to seeing at 5.2 inches, but it’s relatively low in resolution with a QHD, or 960 x 540 pixel count. It’s rounded out by a 2GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of non-removable storage.

Fujitsu isn’t the only company exploring new methods of biometric identification on smartphones. Mobile device maker ZTE announced at MWC that its upcoming Grand S3 will use EyeVerify, a security software that reads the veins of a person’s eye. Qualcomm’s Sense ID uses ultrasound to see identify the ridges and sweat pores of fingerprints and check blood flow. And Hoyos Labs uses high-resolution facial recognition to secure password-protected sites and app credentials.

There’s great potential for the aforementioned technologies beyond mobile payments and phone unlocking, of course. Fujitsu plans to make ActiveIRIS an enterprise security solution, and Delta ID believes its tech could one day be used to secure bank accounts. Also, don’t be surprised if your next computer packs iris-scanning tech — Windows 10 ships with a feature called Hello, an authentication platform for biometric sensor companies.

Very soon, it seems, your eyes could very literally become the keys to your digital identity — Best you don’t lose them.

Mobile

Nubia’s two-screen wonder is a new solution to our all-screen selfie problems

Nubia has added a second screen to the back of the Nubia X so the rear camera can be used for selfies -- and a lot more -- and the front is all-screen. We tried the phone out at CES 2019.
Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

You'll soon be able to pay for goods with the Motiv smart ring

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Mobile

Samsung rumored to mark 10 years of the Galaxy S line with a 5G model

Samsung is rumored to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, called the Galaxy S10 X. The phone may be larger than the standard Galaxy S10 devices, and feature a very impressive specification sheet.
Computing

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.