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Is Apple working on an eye scanner for its 2018 iPhone?

A new report suggests that Apple is preparing to launch an iPhone with iris scanning technology in two years time. Eye recognition could be used as a secure alternative to passwords or Touch ID fingerprint-scanning for actions such as unlocking your device or authorizing a purchase.

Meanwhile, several Chinese smartphone makers are said to also be working on biometrics technology, while Samsung is “expected to lead all vendors” by including iris scanning in its products before the end of 2016. Meaning, as usual, Apple will have time to assess and improve the technology before releasing its own equivalent, or maybe even pull the whole idea if its flops on Android devices.

Whether eye recognition technology will be a strong selling point for consumers remains to be seen. Considering the lightning-fast Touch ID sensors in recent iPhones, could raising your eye to the front-facing camera for an iris scan ever compare in speed and convenience? Would it require an always-on camera, or a button press to activate the feature?

Whatever the answers to those questions, it looks as though eye scanners are going to become a feature of many smartphones before too long. The real question is what Apple would call such a feature: IrisID? EyeID? iScan? If this report is to be believed (and, as ever, take it with a pinch of salt) we may not have to wait too long to find out…