Reliable protection for smartphones and tablets thanks to infrared iris scanning and facial recognition


Osram presents new infrared LEDs for iris scanning and facial recognition

Secure data transfer thanks to high tech from Osram. Banking apps on smartphones, business emails on your laptop, and online shopping on your tablet – our mobile companions need powerful protection against unauthorized access. Special infrared LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors provide the basis for reliable iris and face recognition even on mobile devices. In the context of the Mobile World Congress, the leading trade fair for the mobile industry, Osram will be presenting two new members of its Oslux family for access control. 

Iris scans and facial recognition are among the most reliable biometric identification methods and are difficult to fool. Both methods require special infrared LEDs in order to provide reliable protection for mobile devices. Osram Opto Semiconductors is a technology leader in this field. Two years ago, the company was the first to launch an infrared LED that brought iris scanners to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Secure iris recognition

Essentially, iris scanners illuminate the eyes with infrared light and a camera takes a picture. Special software then analyzes the picture to detect the iris pattern, which is unique to each individual. After rolling out its first infrared LED for iris scanners in mobile devices, Osram added a version with a slightly angled direction of emission, which aligns with the camera’s field of view. The latest infrared LED, the Oslux SFH 4787S, is a new version that enables the iris to be illuminated even more uniformly.

Reliable facial recognition 

Sensor systems for facial recognition record the user’s face and detect typical features independent of facial expressions. However, to identify these features accurately and reliably, the software requires high-quality images. This means illuminating the face brightly and evenly, without shadows – and for this method to protect laptops and tablets, it also has to work in a wide variety of lighting conditions. The solution is to illuminate the face also with infrared light. 
The Oslux SFH 4796S infrared LED has an emission angle that perfectly matches the field of view required by facial recognition systems. Users are not dazzled by the light at all. 

Industrial applications are next

The impetus for developing the Oslux portfolio for access control was the need for dependable solutions to safeguard mobile devices from unauthorized access. Gradually, the technology is now making its way into other sectors. “Access control as a whole is becoming increasingly important and iris and facial recognition are two of the most reliable methods here”, explains Bianka Schnabel, Marketing Manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Following in the footsteps of consumer markets, industry is now showing more interest.” 


OSRAM, based in Munich, is a globally leading lighting manufacturer with a history dating back about 100 years. The product portfolio includes high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology such as infrared or laser lighting. The products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality, autonomous driving or mobile phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. In automotive lighting, the company is the global market and technology leader. Based on continuing operations (excluding Ledvance), OSRAM had around 24,600 employees worldwide at the end of fiscal 2016 (September 30) and generated revenue of almost €3.8 billion in that fiscal year. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at