oki iris recognitionBy David Ponce

Whether it’s the result of a CNN induced institutional paranoia or the consequence of real tangible threats, most people these days are concerned with protecting their privacy. And one of the devices that holds the most personal data is a cellphone, so it stands to reason that some people would take to locking their phone with a password. Passwords however are so Mobile 1.0. All the rage these days is with biometrics, and a company called Oki Electric has announced the development of iris recognition technology that uses a cellphone’s regular camera, as opposed to the company’s previous offerings, which required an IR camera.

They plan to release their product in March 2007, and once installed on a compatible phone, should allow the users to unlock the device only when in the presence of the right set of eyes. The technology is allegedly very accurate, with error rates of 1 in 100,000. It is also able to distinguish between real eyes, and photographs. However, rather than seeking a better way to secure the data on phone, the company is looking to boost the security of phone based payment systems, which, if you ask us, is as good a reason as any.

[Press Release] VIA [Pink Tentacle]