Iris scanners on phones may provide 2-factor authentication of web transactions in India

10th January 2015
Iris scanners on phones may  provide  2-factor authentication of  web transactions in India
From Viewsonic's video about the Iris Scanner-phone. Inset Nandan Nilekani addressing the VLSI Conference in Bangalore

Bangalore January 11 2015: 'Look into my eyes', sang Bryan Adams in the  hit  theme song of Robin Hood : Prince of Thieves.   A quarter century on, the phrase has acquired  new, technologically precise meaning, as Iris scanning is poised to become the  most convenient, most accurate way of establishing that you are you.
Last week, in a keynote at the International  VLSI Conference in Bangalore, Nandan Nilekani, the man who brought the Aadhaar project to fruition,  suggested that  we  may  soon say goodbye  to the hassles of  one time passwords (OTPs), to meet the  unique requirement in India for a 2-factor authentication for financial transactions. That will happen  when mobile phones  become biometric  devices,  with a built-in Iris camera that can look into the owner's eye and establish his or her identity.
By a nice coincidence,     at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the  hot,  new trends on  show  was Iris scanners on  personal devices.  The US-based Viewsonic,  put out teaser videos   for  the world's first iris-scanning mobile phone -- the V55.  An extra lens locks on to the owner's eyeball to  authenticate  the person and unlock the phone.  Samsung too,  has been hinting since mid 2014 , that an upcoming Galaxy phone will come with an Iris scanner. 
Nilekani    goes a step further:     A special Iris camera may not be needed he says: Two Indian  companies have already  perfected the technology that will turn the existing camera lens of a  5000-rupee  phone into an Iris scanner.  If so,  we may   -- thanks to 'make in India'  jugaad ( frugal innovation)-- see this CES-launched technology in India, ahead of anywhere else in the world, at a fraction of the cost!