The Lumia 950 and 950 XL were the first production phones to utilise iris recognition for biometric authentication. Unfortunately Microsoft rushed the introduction of its new phones and as a result there were a number of items within the Windows 10 Mobile build that didn’t work well, or were rather erratic – iris scanning was certainly one of those.
A key feature of Windows 10 Mobile has been the speed with which Microsoft have released updates improving capability and functionality and one of the big beneficiaries of these updates has been the Windows Hello feature.
I don’t believe that iris scanning will ever reach the speed of a good fingerprint scanner, however I’m convinced after using it with the latest Windows 10 Mobile updates that the additional time spent unlocking the phone is a small price to pay for the extra convenience and security. In short, after using iris scanning on the Lumia 950 fingerprint scanners seem like a very clunky option.
You can speed up the recognition time and accuracy by slightly changing the way you interact with the iris scanner and the gains are palpable.
First of all make sure that you’ve run through the ‘Improve recognition’ feature of Windows Hello in different lighting situations, with and without your glasses / contacts. The more times you run the recognition the better the performance.
When using the iris scanner to unlock, your phone needs to be held around 10” / 25cm from your face and your face needs to more or less parallel to the phone’s screen. Hold the phone slightly to the left of your face’s centreline, with the IR emitter in line with the bridge of your nose. Look directly at the emitter.
By following these tips I’ve found that recognition performance is excellent. If your experience is different then give this a go and see how it works for you.