October 6, 2015 -
Microsoft announced this morning at the Microsoft Windows 10 devices event that both its new flagship phones — Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL — will feature infrared iris scanning technology, according to a report by Arstechnica.
The move comes a couple of months after reports that Microsoft was preparing to release two new Lumia smartphone models that will feature an iris scanner and facial recognition capabilities, as early as October.
Presenter and lead Microsoft Devices engineer Panos Panay explained that the infrared iris scanning technology integrated in the new devices uses the same Windows Hello infrastructure that enables facial recognition-based logins on the desktop version of Windows 10.
As a result, users of Lumia 950 and 950 XL will be able to unlock their devices by simply looking at the screen. Meanwhile, if any unauthorized person holds the device it will remain unlocked.
As reported by BiometricUpdate.com back in March, Windows Hello does not work with front-facing cameras on existing Windows Phone devices.
However, Microsoft’s inclusion of an infrared light camera on the new flagship smartphones enables users to take advantage of the iris- and face-recognition capabilities of Windows Hello.
Both smartphones feature what Microsoft calls “tablet-class liquid cooling” to allow them to handle more powerful chips, 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 image stabilizers, 4K video capabilities and triple LED flashes.
Launching in November, the Lumia 950 (5.2-inch display) and 950XL (5.7-inch display) will be priced at $549 and $649, respectively.