Rumor: New iPhones with secure iris scanners coming in 2018

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in iPhone
The successor to Touch ID could be "Iris ID," as a new report claims that Apple is looking to bring secure eye scanning technology to the iPhone in the next two years.


Like a fingerprint, the eye's iris is unique to each person. Image via Wikipedia.


Citing unnamed "industry sources," DigiTimes reported on Monday that Apple is "likely" to introduce iris sensors in its iPhone lineup in the year 2018. Eye scanning technology for securely identifying a user is believed to be one of the next big trends in the mobile industry.

It should be noted that DigiTimes has an unreliable track record in pinpointing Apple's future product plans. But its sources do frequently identify market trends and upcoming new features, even if claims about timing are off base.

In fact, with regards to timing, earlier reports had suggested Apple could introduce new biometric recognition technology -- including face and iris scanning -- as soon as next year. It has been rumored that Apple plans to completely redesign the iPhone in 2017, featuring an all-glass chassis with components, including the forward facing FaceTime camera, hidden beneath an OLED display.

Apple owns a number of patents covering secure facial recognition technology, including a patent that relies on 3D rendering for increased levels of accuracy. The company also recently acquired facial recognition specialist Emotient and realtime 3D rendering firm Faceshift.

Touch ID


For now, secure logins on the iPhone and iPad are accomplished via fingerprint scanning technology in the home button, branded by Apple as Touch ID. The quick and secure nature of Touch ID has become a defining characteristic of Apple's mobile devices, with competitors failing to offer comparable performance.

There have been rumors that Apple, in its quest to rid the world of too many buttons, is looking to eventually eliminate the home button on the iPhone, allowing for an edge-to-edge interactive display. Of course, removing the home button would create new issues for Touch ID, potentially moving the fingerprint scanning technology to the display itself.

The introduction of iris scanning technology could be paired with Touch ID, or could potentially replace it entirely on a handset without a home button. Other obvious applications for iris scanning would also apply to security on Apple's other devices, including the iPad and Mac.

Monday's report alleged that Apple's chief rival in the mobile space, Samsung, is planning to include iris recognition technology in its flagship Galaxy S smartphone later this year.

Chinese smartphone makers LeEco, Xiaomi and 360 Qiku were also said to be working on their own proprietary biometrics technology. Suppliers such as Qualcomm, Truly Opto-Electronics, O-film Tech and Beijing IrisKing are also identified as players in the growing space.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
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  • Reply 2 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    IF it happens my guess is it replaces fingerprints for authentication, if not immediately then soon afterwards. There are proven methods to spoof fingerprints for unlocking our devices, which of course are readily available to law enforcement or other investigators as they're on nearly everything we've touched. 
    edited July 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 56
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 259member
    I can see three advantages to scanning the iris.

    First, it seems more secure. We leave our fingerprints all over the place, and a lot of background checks require fingerprints, and there are things like national fingerprint databases.

    Second, it could remove the need for the touch id button, which removes another point of failure for the iPhone. The home button sometimes fails, but if they were somehow able to remove the physical button, that would be one less thing to fail.

    Third, depending on how accurate it was at a distance, it could be more convenient. If you pick up the phone and look at it, it could just instantly unlock. That means that the phone would essentially work like the Apple watch. When you pick it up and look at it, the screen turns on. Otherwise, the screen is off.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    ppietrappietra Posts: 247member
    It doesn’t make sense to replace the fingerprint sensor with this. It is much less convenient on a smartphone because it requires to frame the eyes on the camera, it is slower and sensitive to environmental light.
    It only makes sense as an extra verification step of identity under some conditions, but I would prefer if they improved the fingerprint sensor so that it would scan the finger much deeper in the dermis, making it impossible to fool with just the print. 
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  • Reply 5 of 56
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Hopefully not a replacement.  The current TouchID is so good (reliable, except when fingers wet), and so convenient (unlock without looking at device a lot), and so fast, that facial/iris scanning would be a step back if the only method.
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  • Reply 6 of 56
    ppietrappietra Posts: 247member
    gatorguy said:
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    IF it happens my guess is it replaces fingerprints for authentication, if not immediately then soon afterwards. There are proven methods to spoof fingerprints for unlocking our devices, which of course are readily available to law enforcement or other investigators as they're on nearly everything we've touched. 
    it is true that today’s sensor can be spoofed but it is not that easy to get the right print to unlock the device under the conditions imposed by the system.
    I would prefer if they came up with another fingerprint technology that wouldn’t be fooled.
    ration al
  • Reply 7 of 56
    Lost opportunity if they don't call it eyeD
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  • Reply 8 of 56
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    Works with gloves, does it?
  • Reply 9 of 56
    uroshnoruroshnor Posts: 96member
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    TouchID uses a single fingerprint, and to make it reliable to unlock, is pretty tolerant of errors. 

    This is means that TouchID data is unique and does not collide with someone else's fingerprint  about 1:50,000. A FBI fingerprint database standard single print, correctly taken from a person is about 10x better than that , at 1:500,000. If you tried doing that level of accuracy to unlock the phone , you'd get a lot of refusals to unlock, and falling back to password .

    You leave copies of your fingerprints all over the place, and fingerprint hacking experts like Starbug in Germany have demonstrated building artificial 3D fingerprints from prints left lying about, and using the  copy to unlock the phone. If you get a good enough print, it only takes s few hours for someone to make the replica.

    This creates a problem for Apple in government, financial services an other markets about using TouchID to unlock, as they need to disable TouchID at the lock screen due to these kinds of issues.

    By contrast, an iris scan done with a UV camera one one eye , is equivalent in complexity to a full 10 print at FBI record quality, so it's potentially over 100x stronger as an unlock mechanism as TouchID is today. ie you get a "collision" in iris scan data about 1 in 5 million people. I say potentially , because Apple might take a very conservative path as it did with fingerprints, to make false refusals to unlock a low rate error.

    There is a company called B2I biometrics that made an iris scanner / fingerprint scanner case for iPhone 4, that was sold to law enforcement, to acquire data and ID people in traffic stops, bail checks, etc. They have a lot of public material on the trade-offs between iris scan and fingerprints.

    Iris scans are very fast, and might be combined with existing TouchID to offer a 2 factor authentication mechanism to unlock. Many people look at their phone when unlocking anyhow, so it could be very seamless & slick.
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  • Reply 10 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    ppietra said:
    It doesn’t make sense to replace the fingerprint sensor with this. It is much less convenient on a smartphone because it requires to frame the eyes on the camera, it is slower and sensitive to environmental light.
    It only makes sense as an extra verification step of identity under some conditions, but I would prefer if they improved the fingerprint sensor so that it would scan the finger much deeper in the dermis, making it impossible to fool with just the print. 
    After further contemplation I think you are probably correct. Iris scanning is not likely to be as fast in the very near future, and TBH most folks have no use whatsoever for that level of security anyway. Even if not entirely secure, fingerprint unlock is secure enough and certainly quick and convenient. 
    edited July 2016 badmonk
  • Reply 11 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    The successor to Touch ID could be "Iris ID," as a new report claims that Apple is looking to bring secure eye scanning technology to the iPhone in the next two years...

    Monday's report alleged that Apple's chief rival in the mobile space, Samsung, is planning to include iris recognition technology in its flagship Galaxy S smartphone later this year.
    Just read this article about how Sammy's version, expected in a couple of months, will operate. Doesn't sound either particularly fast or convenient, but the wait for the actual product to see how it works in the real world shouldn't be too long if rumors are accurate. 
    http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-note-7-iris-scanner-700377/
    edited July 2016 patchythepiratebadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 56
    gatorguy said:
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    IF it happens my guess is it replaces fingerprints for authentication, if not immediately then soon afterwards. There are proven methods to spoof fingerprints for unlocking our devices, which of course are readily available to law enforcement or other investigators as they're on nearly everything we've touched. 

    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.

    Meanwhile, iris scans have so many things that can cause issues: people who wear contacts, glasses/sunglasses, alcohol consumption, external light influences, not keeping still enough....I just don't see Apple implementing something that could have so many possible points of failure.
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  • Reply 13 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    gatorguy said:
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    IF it happens my guess is it replaces fingerprints for authentication, if not immediately then soon afterwards. There are proven methods to spoof fingerprints for unlocking our devices, which of course are readily available to law enforcement or other investigators as they're on nearly everything we've touched. 

    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.
    You're certainly entitled to believe it can't be done, despite claims by Michigan State University among others. Perhaps they have some reason to lie about it, it can't be 100% ruled out right?

    edited July 2016
  • Reply 14 of 56
    cnocbui said:
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    Works with gloves, does it?
    Will the EyeD iris scan work through sunglasses? Perhaps there are slight inconveniences to all biometric systems, no?
    Rayz2016williamlondonsphericpscooter63igorskywaverboyclemynxnetmage
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,699member
    cnocbui said:
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    Works with gloves, does it?
    I wear special gloves that come off. 
    williamlondonigorskynolamacguypatchythepiratewaverboyclemynxnetmage
  • Reply 16 of 56
    gatorguy said:

    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.
    You're certainly entitled to believe it can't be done, despite claims by Michigan State University among others. Perhaps they have some reason to lie about it, it can't be 100% ruled out right?


    A 1 minute video? Sorry, not good enough. My original post clearly said "completed start-to-finish".

    Every video (and I mean EVERY SINGLE VIDEO) of people doing these unlocks always shows an edited version showing a successful unlock. What they don't show is how many failed attempts it took BEFORE they got one to work.

    Back when the iPhone 5S came out there was that reward offered to the first person to spoof the iPhones fingerprint reader. The original contest rules required a completed, unedited end-to-end video to get the money. Then that computer club from Germany showed their EDITED video and claimed the reward. They got the money, despite never having showed a complete video. They did promise to show an unedited video, but never came through. The whole thing is fishy.

    Worse yet, they TRAINED a fingerprint just seconds before trying their unlock. This is outright fraud as the security of the iPhone fingerprint scanner increases the more you use it (this is according to Apple). Which means that the system is at its least secure (more likely to be fooled) immediately after you learn a finger (since you haven't been using it enough for Apple to make any changes).

    We don't know exactly why Apple states this, but it makes perfect sense. Apple wants people to use their fingerprint scanner. They don't want people to spend 20 minutes learning a fingerprint. So they have a quick setup procedure to get going, and relax the rules for unlocking your iPhone so people don't get turned of by using it and getting too many rejections. Each time you use it Apple learns a bit more about your print and adjusts accordingly. After a period of time you get maximum security without putting people off the system.


    The only way for someone to prove they can spoof the iPhone is to lift a print off something someone has touched (glass, mug, door knob or the iPhone itself), reproduce the fingerprint and then unlock the iPhone before the minimum number of tries locks you out. In the real world you don't get unlimited tries and you don't get to "learn" the finger before trying it. And after they do it once they have to do it several more times to prove the single time wasn't an accident.

    Find me a video that shows this and I'll retract my statement.
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  • Reply 17 of 56
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 901member
    I don't see it. Fingerprint is super fast and convenient. What good is there to having two completely separate biometric devices on one iPhone? People will just use the one that works all the time under any conditions (fingerprint).
    But it doesn't always work under any conditions. I work with natural stone and mortar quite a bit, and after a lot of contact with those materials, my finger prints are a little worn down and won't scan properly. It usual takes a couple of days to repair itself before  Touch ID will work for me again. 
    So on my case, the iris method would be perfect. 
    edited July 2016 patchythepirate
  • Reply 18 of 56
    Chipsy4Chipsy4 Posts: 10member
    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.

    Meanwhile, iris scans have so many things that can cause issues: people who wear contacts, glasses/sunglasses, alcohol consumption, external light influences, not keeping still enough....I just don't see Apple implementing something that could have so many possible points of failure.
    Dude, Fortune once even showed a method using freaking Play-Doh. It can be spoofed. Is it convenient? Absolutely. Is it as secure as iris scanning? No. For one iris scanning has more than 5 times more unique points of comparison. TouchID does a very good job and is secure enough for the purpose that it serves but it's not the end all be all in security. Remember this is not an OR situation. Apple can offer both and allow you to choose what you want to use or even combine. 

    Video 2 is older and shows a method with laser edging.



    edited July 2016
  • Reply 19 of 56
    Chipsy4 said:
    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.

    Meanwhile, iris scans have so many things that can cause issues: people who wear contacts, glasses/sunglasses, alcohol consumption, external light influences, not keeping still enough....I just don't see Apple implementing something that could have so many possible points of failure.
    Dude, Fortune once even showed a method using freaking Play-Doh. It can be spoofed. Is it convenient? Absolutely. Is it as secure as iris scanning? No. For one iris scanning has more than 5 times more unique points of comparison. TouchID does a very good job and is secure enough for the purpose that it serves but it's not the end all be all in security. Remember this is not an OR situation. Apple can offer both and allow you to choose what you want to use or even combine. 

    Video 2 is older and shows a method with laser edging.




    Why don't you read my post? I want a complete video, unedited, showing everything from lifting a print to unlocking the iPhone. Edited videos with pieces missing prove nothing. People can try something (like lifting the print or editing it in software) countless times before they get one that works. Then they only show you that one time it worked. For all we know, the image they output from the computer to the printer could have been one they refined over and over until they got the most reliable version. Something you can't do with a stolen phone with limited tries.
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  • Reply 20 of 56
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,058member
    Chipsy4 said:
    Except that NOBODY has ever showed a completed start-to-finish working spoof to fool the iPhone fingerprint sensor.

    Meanwhile, iris scans have so many things that can cause issues: people who wear contacts, glasses/sunglasses, alcohol consumption, external light influences, not keeping still enough....I just don't see Apple implementing something that could have so many possible points of failure.
    Dude, Fortune once even showed a method using freaking Play-Doh.
    Well, Play-Doh and dental molding putty, which is hardened out under the subject's thumb for a few minutes. That's rather less than practical, and ignoring it is kind of disingenous.

    I mean, you could hack the thumb off a guy and graft it onto some living creature to keep it alive for long enough to unlock the stolen iPhone, too, right?
    edited July 2016 patchythepiratewaverboynetmage
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