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Brief Published: 19 May 2015

Pay With Your Eyes

The Arrows NX F-04G smartphone lets users pay with their eyes

A new smartphone from Japanese manufacturer Fujitsu lets users make mobile payments using iris-scanning technology.

The Arrows NX F-04G smartphone, which will be released in Japan later this month, was developed in collaboration with Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo. No pricing details have been revealed.

While iris-recognition technology has been used before to unlock phones, this is the first time users have also been able to authorise mobile payments and web logins with their eyes, Fujitsu said.

The technology scans an image of each iris through the phone's front-facing camera, comparing it with an existing template image of each eye. The scan is effective when the phone is held up to 50cm from the face. The technology complies with the Fast Identity Online Alliance (FIDO), an online authentication standard backed by Google, Microsoft and Samsung.

Device makers around the world are experimenting with biometric features and digital tools to alleviate the pain of remembering multiple passwords. Experiments range from ear-scanning screens to digital tattoos. However, eye-scanning systems are proving popular as they tend to be more secure than other forms of biometric identification – such as face recognition, which can be fooled using a digital image.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we spotlighted Myris, a device from US company Eyelock that uses video footage of the user's iris to verify their identity. Meanwhile, Chinese mobile maker ZTE's latest smartphone, the Grand S3, features EyeVerify – a security system that scans veins in the eye. Read more in our reporting from this year's Mobile World Congress.

For more on how biometric technologies are transforming e-commerce payments, customer service and store design, read Data Tracking & Response Monitoring, New Transactions Technology and Reactive Retail: Dynamic Data Builds Brand Traction