Latest rumor pegs secure iris scanner for Apple's 2017 iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2016
Rather than waiting until 2018, Apple could introduce eye-scanning technology to securely identify users next year, if a new supply chain rumor is to be believed.


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


Citing a translation from a Chinese-language publication, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday that Taiwan's Xintec is expected to receive orders for iris-recognition chips in 2017 for Apple's next-generation iPhone. Xintic is an affiliate of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which produces A-series chips for Apple's iPhones, iPads and more.

Some earlier reports had suggested iris scanning technology might not debut in Apple's iPhone lineup until 2018. But the latest report suggests Apple is looking to adopt such technology on a more aggressive timetable.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said back in March that he expects both iris and face scanning biometric technology to debut in Apple's 2017 iPhone. It's rumored that next year's handset will be a complete redesign, boasting a larger, curved 5.8-inch OLED display and an all-glass chassis that will ditch the home button.

Supply chain reports like Wednesday's claims about Xintec should always be taken with a grain of salt, as information from Apple's vast network of suppliers is frequently inaccurate. However, key industry trends and new directions for Apple products have been pinpointed via such reports on numerous occasions.

Iris scanning is one of the key features of Samsung's latest flagship "phablet" device, the Galaxy Note 7, unveiled earlier this month. While not yet fully implemented into Samsung's TouchWiz operating system, the iris scanning technology is intended to serve as an authentication method for Samsung Pay.

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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    sricesrice Posts: 113member
    Curved screens and iris scanners are gimmicks.  Gimme high-fidelity mics so Siri understands me more.  Gimme losslees wireless music.  
    blastdoorjony0
  • Reply 2 of 21
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    I really don't think so. Apple has put a lot into Touch ID ($400 million to acquire that Israeli company + 2 years of R&D), and nothing more than Touch ID is truly needed on iOS devices. That's the real gaping hole in this rumor. It's just not needed.
    blastdoorpscooter63Deelronjony0repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 21
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    srice said:
    Curved screens and iris scanners are gimmicks.  Gimme high-fidelity mics so Siri understands me more.  Gimme losslees wireless music.  
    Agreed!

    and I'll add--

    give me a noticeably better camera
    give me displays for all my devices that can show off those noticeably better pictures
    Give me a truly, totally wireless device, including charging 
    sricerogifan_newrepressthis
  • Reply 4 of 21
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 265member
    Blech.Why would anyone want an iris scanner, especially with the speed the phone unlocks already on the 6S? Don't stare directly into the scanner! That's actually what Samsung says.

    I would immediately turn that feature off if it was implemented.

    jony0
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,218member
    TurboPGT said:
    I really don't think so. Apple has put a lot into Touch ID ($400 million to acquire that Israeli company + 2 years of R&D), and nothing more than Touch ID is truly needed on iOS devices. That's the real gaping hole in this rumor. It's just not needed.
    ArsTechnica reviewed the new Samsung Note7 and was a little concerned about the warning that the phone pops up every so often:

    "To protect your eyes, hold the phone at least 10 inches away from your face and do not stare at the LED sensor for too long."

    This is not coming to any device from health-obsessed Apple any time soon. 



    edited August 2016 nolamacguyjony0repressthisTurboPGT
  • Reply 6 of 21
    jamieljamiel Posts: 20member
    In an all-glass design, couldn't the fingerprint scanner be moved to the back of the phone?
  • Reply 7 of 21
    How would this work in the dark? And wouldn't I have to trigger the scan eg for unlocking by let's say press a home button which already doing the identification at the same time? Don't see the benefit here yet 
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 21
    sricesrice Posts: 113member
    jamiel said:
    In an all-glass design, couldn't the fingerprint scanner be moved to the back of the phone?
    yuck
    thewhitefalconDeelronrepressthisTurboPGT
  • Reply 9 of 21
    jamiel said:
    In an all-glass design, couldn't the fingerprint scanner be moved to the back of the phone?
    Such a truly bad idea. 
    repressthisTurboPGT
  • Reply 10 of 21
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member

    IMO- don't need this level of device security at least I don't. Id much rather carry a 'device' RFID key. 'device' is unlocked when around the tag, otherwise passwords/fingerprint.

    But in the corporate world---  the major corporation I work at will not allow iphones. Blackberry still rules (believe it or not). We are slowly moving to Samsungs KNOX. For usability KNOX is a pain-- syncing certs, phone login, then KNOX logins required etc etc. Its a system within a system.  Step it up Apple.. something 'Apple simple' for the corporate world! [keep in mind corporations want their own dedicated secure location servers]

    http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-devices/samsung-knox-security-beats-ios-android-gartner-finds/d/d-id/1325145


    repressthis
  • Reply 11 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    TurboPGT said:
    I really don't think so. Apple has put a lot into Touch ID ($400 million to acquire that Israeli company + 2 years of R&D), and nothing more than Touch ID is truly needed on iOS devices. That's the real gaping hole in this rumor. It's just not needed.
    When the rumours of a fingerprint scanner were first being reported I thought it was a gimmicky feature. After all, all other such solutions were considerably poor. Even when I accounted for Apple's level of detail I didn't fully grasp just now secure and fast Apple could make what was to become Touch ID.

    Perhaps the same can be said for an iris scanner, and perhaps it's not even for use in a phone.
    repressthis
  • Reply 12 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,909member
    I don't find any part of this rumor credible.
    TurboPGT
  • Reply 13 of 21
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member
    This sounds like an attempt to raise Xintec's stock price. Nothing more.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,549member
    If I have to remove my sunglasses or glasses to unlock it, you're doing it wrong. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 15 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    Great, so instead of just cutting your finger off thieves will now be removing eyeballs!  (I'm kidding).
    mrboba1repressthis
  • Reply 16 of 21
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    Soli said:
    TurboPGT said:
    I really don't think so. Apple has put a lot into Touch ID ($400 million to acquire that Israeli company + 2 years of R&D), and nothing more than Touch ID is truly needed on iOS devices. That's the real gaping hole in this rumor. It's just not needed.
    When the rumours of a fingerprint scanner were first being reported I thought it was a gimmicky feature. After all, all other such solutions were considerably poor. Even when I accounted for Apple's level of detail I didn't fully grasp just now secure and fast Apple could make what was to become Touch ID.

    Perhaps the same can be said for an iris scanner, and perhaps it's not even for use in a phone.
    Agreed I actually think what they might do with it if and when they do Is that it unlocks you're phone so you can see the notification centre, especially correlating well with the new raise to wake feature in iOS 10, not a replacement of touch ID but addition to log-you-in and a more secure finger print scan to authenticate, then only when YOU raise you're phone to wake it will it show any information, cool not ?
    repressthis
  • Reply 17 of 21
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 718member
    I have to disagree with the general tone of the comments here.  An iris scanner would be great in cold weather while wearing gloves, working outdoors while wearing gloves, washing dishes with wet hands, preparing food with dirty hands, working on a car with greasy hands, etc.  

    Obviously you millennials spend too much time on the couch.
    iqatedorepressthis
  • Reply 18 of 21
    badmonk said:
    I have to disagree with the general tone of the comments here.  An iris scanner would be great in cold weather while wearing gloves, working outdoors while wearing gloves, washing dishes with wet hands, preparing food with dirty hands, working on a car with greasy hands, etc.  

    Obviously you millennials spend too much time on the couch.

    Since I'd have to be wearing gloves that work on a touchscreen anyway I'll simply type in the 6 digit security code I have to have anyway. 

    If my hands are dirty, greasy or wet enough where I need something I can't just ask a lock screen Siri for, I'm not sure how urgent it is to get into my phone, nor would I want to give up some other benefit in the trade off.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 265member
    badmonk said:
    I have to disagree with the general tone of the comments here.  An iris scanner would be great in cold weather while wearing gloves, working outdoors while wearing gloves,
    but not when it's bright out so you're wearing sunglasses. Or dark out. Or when the phone is in your pocket and you have to take your glove off to get in your pocket. But hey... details.

    And your point might be taken a bit better if you didn't decide to denigrate a chunk of the population with a dumbass remark.
    wonkothesane
  • Reply 20 of 21
    badmonk said:
    I have to disagree with the general tone of the comments here.  An iris scanner would be great in cold weather while wearing gloves, working outdoors while wearing gloves, washing dishes with wet hands, preparing food with dirty hands, working on a car with greasy hands, etc.  

    Obviously you millennials spend too much time on the couch.
    Obviously you are spending too much time unlocking your phone at work.
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