While we’re all oohing and aahing over how cool it is to pay for things with our fingerprints and Apple Pay, people in Japan are paying for things with their eyes.
As part of its 2015 summer lineup, Japanese telecommunications company NTT Docomo unveiled a dozen mobile devices, the bulk of which include Samsung, Sharp and Sony phones. But one phone — the Arrows NX F-04G — stands out from the pack.
NTT Docomo says the Arrows NX is the world’s first smartphone to use iris recognition in conjunction with fingerprint authentication. Users will be able to unlock their phones and shop for things just by looking directly into the front-facing camera.
Similar to the EyeLock Myris, the phone’s camera scans your eyes, decoding its complex iris patterns. Like a fingerprint, everyone’s irises are unique, making the very secure for a mobile-payments system.
It’s far more secure than, say, the face unlock feature that Samsung includes on the Galaxy S3/S4 and Galaxy Note/Note II. After Google began supporting face unlock in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011, it was quickly demonstrated such systems can often be fooled with just a photograph.
In March, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba announced plans for a facial recognition payment system called Smile to Pay that lets phone users pay for things with their face.
As cool as eye payments seem, it’s unlikely that the phone will make it out of Japan. The technology, however, could eventually be adopted by other phone makers if it proves to be a hit.