ABI Research Sees Smartphone Iris Scanning Emerge as a Secure ID Trend

Mobile Payment Will Boost Its Adoption in Mobile Devices

Oyster Bay, New York - 21 Sep 2016

The release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 sparked something positive—iris scanning. As one of the safest and most convenient ways to secure a smartphone user’s identity, iris scanning is a biometric identification solution that uses mathematical pattern recognition techniques to verify an individual’s identity based on video images of their irises. ABI Research forecasts global shipments of smartphones equipped with iris scanners will reach almost 300 million in 2021.

“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,” says Marina Lu, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “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.”

Iris scanning requires no physical contact, which makes authentication more seamless than other methods, like entering PIN numbers and scanning fingerprints. Iris sensors in mobile devices include a camera chip and an IRED for illumination of the eyes so that the sensors can detect iris features even in semi-dark conditions. The sensor can function as a separate unit from the front camera.

Japanese company Fujitsu was the first to announce iris scanning for smartphones in March 2015.  Following that, Microsoft introduced its Lumia 950 and 950 XL, ZTE released the Nubia Prague S, and HP launched Elite x3, all with iris scanning. Other smartphone vendors are watching the market response to iris scanning and are likely to follow Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone vendor, to adopt iris scanning technologies. However, Apple chose not to add iris scanning to its latest release of smartphone, the iPhone 7, and so it is likely to be at least another year before the technology finds its way onto Apple devices.

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

These findings are from ABI Research’s Human-Machine Interface Attach Rate and Penetration. This report is part of the company’s Wearables & Devices sector, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research's global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors.

ABI Research提供开创性的研究和战略指导,帮助客户了解日新月异的技术。 自1990年以来,我们已与全球数百个领先的技术品牌,尖端公司,具有远见的政府机构以及创新的贸易团体建立了合作关系。 我们帮助客户创造真实的业务成果。

For more information about ABI Research's services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit www.abiresearch.com.

Contact ABI Research

Media: Interview an Analyst

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670