Aadhaar architect foresees iris scanners on smartphones
08 January 2015 10:26 GMT

The UIDAI has been given the task of generating 1.2 billion unique identification numbers for every Indian by March.

Former Unique Identification Authority of India chief Nandan Nilekani has said budget smartphones using iris scanners could become an important authentication tool for the biometric Aadhar unique id project he masterminded.

“As biometric sensors get popular and cheaper, the next generation of smart phones will have iris cameras built into them. In a year or two, we will have sub-$100 smart phones with an iris camera that does authentication of the Aadhaar number,” he said at the 24th international conference on VLSI design in Bengaluru.

Nilekani, who was last year awarded the Economist magazine’s 2014 Social and Economic Innovation Award for his leadership of the vast national identity scheme, said that iris biometrics could also improve the security of mobile payments.

"One of the big challenges in the financial sector is, how do we combine accuracy with security? In other parts of the world, when you do a financial transaction, you do a one-factor authentication. In India, we have something called two-factor authentication. Those things make life more complicated."

“If you have mobile phones with biometric, with a single click you will see consumer payments that will take us to a cashless economy”.

The UIDAI has been given the task of generating 1.2 billion unique identification numbers for every Indian by March, with so-called Aadhaar numbers hoped to integrate citizens into government welfare schemes and reduce paperwork and corruption.