NTT Docomo Arrows NX F-04G

Move over Knock Codes and fingerprint scanners, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo has unveiled its new Arrows NX F-04G smartphone that uses iris scanning as its security method of choice. The novel smartphone was announced on Wednesday in Tokyo and was developed by Fujitsu.

Not only can the iris scanner be used to unlock the phone, but it is also integrated to authorize mobile payments. The device works with authentication specifications set by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which is supported by Microsoft, Google, PayPal and others.

To save their profile or begin a scan, users simply look at two animated circles on the screen. The scan time takes one or two seconds, making it a tad slower than a fingerprint scanner or traditional pin, but not by enough to make it difficult to use. Fujitsu said that the error rate for the bulkier prototype is about one in 100,000, and the actual product should be even better.

The Arrows NX F-04G also comes with some other high-end technologies. It features a 5.2-inch WQHD (2560×1400) display, 21.5 megapixel rear camera, and a 3,120 mAh battery, housed in a modest form factor that weighs just 155 grams. The smartphone will be release in Japan at the end of the month with a price tag around ¥55,000 (US$460), making it the first handset to hit the market with this technology. However, it won’t see the light of day outside of the country.

We may well see more iris scanning technology in future smartphones, as ZTE has already also shown off a similar eye-based unlocking system with its Grand S3 and Samsung filed a patent for its own iris scanning technology last year.

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