Osram IR technology is making smartphones even smarter by enabling mobile devices, for the first time, to be unlocked by scanning the iris of the user. Fujitsu Limited is using iris scanning in its ARROWS NX F-04G smartphone, which is being marketed by the Japanese telecomms company NTT DOCOMO. This smartphone, which is currently available only in Japan, is the first in the world with this extremely secure functionality for consumers, using IREDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors as the light source.
These IREDs are the only products capable of the high power needed for iris scanning from a compact package. “We are delighted that once more an innovation from our company has made its way into an everyday application and has set new standards for the entire industry,” said Bodo Ischebeck, Vice President Infrared Components, Osram Opto Semiconductors.
Secure methods for unlocking cell phones and tablet computers are gaining importance because these devices are being used increasingly for sensitive applications such as online banking and online shopping. Not only do these methods provide better security, but they also offer a more convenient way for users to authenticate their phone. Manufacturers are therefore turning more and more to biometric identification as a secure and convenient solution.
As well as fingerprint scans, many manufacturers are now considering iris scanning. With this new biometric unlocking method, an infrared light illuminates the user’s eye, and the camera on the smartphone simultaneously takes a picture of the iris in which characteristic features are then identified.
The Oslux SFH 4780S light emitting diode from Osram’s subsidiary Opto Semiconductors currently offers the best size-to-performance ratio and for the first time opens up compact and reliable iris scanning for mobile devices. It is only 2.4mm high and achieves a typical radiant intensity of 2900mw per steradian, a combination that is currently available only from this IR LED.
The Oslux SFH 4780S has a wavelength of 810nm. This enables the iris scanner to identify iris patterns for all eye colours, brown, blue, green and grey, with a high degree of reliability. The light source is also extremely efficient, minimising drain on mobile device batteries.