FPC engineers working on native iris scanner support for Android

Engineers with Fingerprint Cards are working on bringing native support for iris scanners to Android, and have made several commits towards that goal, XDA Developers reports.

One commit, titled “Biometrics Iris HAL interface,” will make iris recognition generally available to vendors, not just Fingerprints. A HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) interface sets standards for the operating system to communicate with sensor’s hardware-specific software. The other commits include “SELinux policies,” “Iris feature,” which will allow apps to detect an iris scanner, and “Iris framework,” which will allow apps to use the scanner for authentication. Another commit adds support for using the iris scanner to unlock the device.

XDA Developers also notes that references to specific biometrics in the Android framework are being changed to general references, such as the permissions call “USE_BIOMETRIC.” The article speculates that the changes will be included in Android P, though they may not appear until a later version.

Fingerprints’ FPC ActiveIRIS supplies the chip which powers iris scanners in the BitVault cryptocurrency-centric smartphone and an unannounced smartphone from a Japanese OEM, and the company announced a partnership with Gentex in January to bring its iris recognition technology to the auto industry.

Fingerprints continues to be one of the leading suppliers of fingerprint sensors for smartphones, and recently launched a third-generation single-chip sensor, though the company expects other biometric modalities and applications to make up a larger portion of its future revenues.

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