At the Mobile World Congress on February 28, 2017, private firm Eyelock said that iris scanners will become the norm in smartphone security within the next two years. Qualcomm and Eyelock have teamed up to bring this technology to market.

“In the next two years, every smartphone in the world is going to have a biometric on it. We believe it’s going to have a combination of fingerprint and iris, because they make a natural mesh, and they’re useful for different things—iris for the mathematical precision, fingerprint for the usability. So I think you’re going to see a preponderance of these things in every platform, from high end devices to very low, economical devices.” Jeff Carter, CTO at Eyelock

The scanner assesses 240 characteristics of a given eye, and can function at a distance of 60 centimeters (about two feet).

An infra-red sensor means it can work if the user is wearing sunglasses.

It is also able to distinguish between a live eye and one printed on paper.

New iris technology steps up smartphone security