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Keep An Eye On It: Smartphone Iris Scanners Set For Growth

Global shipments of iris scanner-equipped smartphones will reach almost 300 million in 2021, with mobile payments to help boost adoption, according to ABI Research.

A feature in new flagship smartphone models such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note7, Apple, meanwhile, has opted for a fingerprint scanner in its iPhone 7 models, with ABI noting that smartphone vendors are currently gauging market response.

“As the iris is an unchanging, protected and completely unique feature of the human body, smartphone vendors are gradually incorporating iris scanning capabilities into their products as a secure biometric identification solution to unlock devices or certify mobile payments,” Marina Lu, ABI senior analyst, commented.

“We find that users are still wary to rely on mobile payments due to security concerns, but iris scanning will help drive future mobile payment adoption.”

Unlike PIN numbers and fingerprint scanners, iris scanning requires no physical contact, making authentication more seamless, ABI notes.

“At the moment, iris scanning is complementary to the more mature fingerprint scanning,” Lu stated.

“However, we expect iris scanning to gain more popularity due to its higher stability and less susceptibility to external damage. Though iris scanning is geared toward high-end models now, we predict that it will be available in less expensive smartphones in the long run.”

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