Osram Opto launches compact IR sensors for 2D facial recognition in smart watches

Osram Opto Semiconductors has launched a pair of new infra-red biometric components with a compact form factor to provide 2D facial recognition on smartphones and smart watches.

The new Oslon P1616 platform measures 1.6×1.6×0.85mm, and is embedded with the IR LED SFH 4170S or the SFH 4180S to provide IR biometric capture while taking up about half as much space as comparable products, according to a company announcement.

In addition to facial biometrics, company materials indicate that infrared components compatible with the platform can also be used for iris recognition or palm vein recognition.

The two new IR LEDs deliver 1150mW at 1A with radiation intensity of 280mW/sr. The SFH 4170S is designed for high sensitivity, in the 850nm range, while the SFH 4180S performs without creating the “red glow” effect visible to the human eye.

“Biometric identification is becoming increasingly more important as a secure solution to authenticate a user’s identity, but the challenge is how to incorporate all of the sophisticated technology into smaller and smaller form factors,” states Osram Opto Semiconductors Product Marketing Manager Eric Kuerzel. “The compact size of our two new IREDs make it easier for our clients to integrate security into devices such as smartwatches, giving their customers a more powerful way to protect their sensitive data.”

AMS pitched a €4.3 billion ($4.8 billion) cash offer for Osram Opto in August, in a potential deal to create a global leader in sensors and photonics.

A study earlier this year suggested that smart watches will soon surpass fitness trackers as the most popular category of wearables.

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