In another sign that iris scanning could soon become a major biometric modality on mobile devices, Toshiba has announced its new CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) image sensor. Called the T4KE1, it’s a 2.1 MP sensor capable of near-infrared iris recognition.
The sensor is designed specifically for mobile devices, with potential smarpthone applications enabled by its small size, at 1/7.3″. It also features an MIPI CSI-2 serial interface, which is common in mobile devices, ensuring further compatibility. In terms of power, it offers 60 FPS, 1080p resolution, and its CMOS image sensors offer heightened sensitivity by prioritizing the near-infrared spectrum over the traditional color filters used in a standard sensor’s pixel structure, the company says.
In a press release, Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) executive Andrew Burt commented that the sensor arrives at “an exciting time for the image sensor business, as new applications and technologies are affording electronics manufacturers wider opportunities for improving their devices’ capabilities.”
He’s certainly right, particularly with respect to mobile applications. This summer, Fujitsu became the first-to-market with an iris-scanning smartphone, and Microsoft is now following suit with its Lumia smartphones. While the smartphone fingerprint sensors pioneered by Apple remain the dominant biometric modality on mobile devices, iris scanners, which may offer even more secure authentication, now appear to be on the rise.
October 8, 2015 – by Alex Perala