ViewSonic V55 promises world's first iris-scanning smartphone

Don't blink

2015 is set to be a big year for biometrics and we're off to a flyer already with a new Viewsonic promo video, which shows a solemn-looking business executive and a female companion unlocking their V55 phones with their eyeballs.

If the iris scanner does appear it would make Viewsonic the first to the consumer market with the technology. The advert suggests the feature could be used for everything from checking email to paying for a coffee.

We get a good look at the phone itself too, with the iris scanner housed around the back of the handset behind a sliding panel.

Viewsonic's V55 was originally slated for 2014 but is now pencilled in for early 2015. Rumoured specs for the device include a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 running at 1.4GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of storage.

Where'd you get those peepers?

The Viewsonic V55 is said to be sporting a Sony-made 13-megapixel camera around the back, which can accept external lenses - the video shows our couple posing for pictures using a fisheye lens attached to the smartphone.

It also shows a businessman levitating a phone above his palm through presumably that's not an included feature.

It's the eyeball-scanning functionality that's most interesting though: irises are far harder to duplicate than fingerprints and the technology would be the most secure yet in the field of smartphones. You'd have to do a Tom Cruise/Minority Report style eyeball theft if you wanted to get around it.

Viewsonic is by no means a big player in the smartphone field — its last effort was in 2012 — but this would certainly make the major firms sit up and take note. The news comes courtesy of GizmoChina though as yet there's no official word from Viewsonic and no indication of how much the V55 might cost when it shows up.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.