Microsoft brings iris recognition to the masses with new Lumia
30 November 2015 10:59 GMT

After months of speculation, leaks and guesswork, Microsoft on Tuesday finally unveiled two Lumia models with the iris recognition capability that many had predicted, according to an Ars Technica report. 

Designed to integrate with Windows 10’s “Hello” biometric security system, the infrared iris scanner is a distinctive feature for the 5.2-inch Lumia 950 and 5.7-inch Lumia 950 XL, given the fingerprint readers that have proliferated on other smartphones in recent months.

In a brief demo of Windows Hello, the company showed how the infrared scanner will allow users to login to their device with biometrics; the feature will recognize you, say your name and log you in instantly.

Although other smartphones with iris scanner have been launched in 2015 – in March, Japanese tech firm Fujitsu become the first major electronics player to unveil a smartphone prototype that incorporated iris authentication – this is the first mass market deployment of the technology.

Alongside the iris recognition, the smartphones also sport 2560×1440 AMOLED screens, 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage, USB Type C ports for charging, Qi wireless charging, Qualcomm rapid charging, 5MP front cameras, and 20MP rear cameras with triple LED flashes

Uniquely, when attached to a Microsoft Display Dock and a keyboard and mouse, the Windows 10 phone can also be used as a desktop PC.

Other Microsoft devices launched on Tuesday also featured biometric security linked to Hello, with the Surface Pro's new Type Cover featuring fingerprint readers.

At time of press, there were no further details on the iris reader's manufacturer, or on further technical specifications.

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