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Apple’s Vision Pro headset uses iris scanning for logins with Optic ID

Apple’s Vision Pro headset uses iris scanning for logins with Optic ID


Apple introduced Touch ID and Face ID on the iPhone. Now, the company is introducing its first iris-scanning biometric on the new Vision Pro headset.

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closeup of an eye with lots of dots.
Apple’s Optic ID as depicted in the WWDC Keynote.
Image: Apple

Apple is introducing Optic ID, its latest biometric security authentication technology and the first from the company to be based on the details of your iris. Optic ID will be used to unlock Apple’s new Vision Pro mixed reality headset that was introduced today at the WWDC 2023 event.

According to Apple, Optic ID works by analyzing a user’s iris through LED light exposure and then comparing it with an enrolled Optic ID stored on the device’s Secure Enclave. During the WWDC keynote, Apple’s VP of technology development group, Mike Rockwell, said the system could detect iris differences even with identical twins.

A woman using Face ID
Face ID was introduced in 2017 on the iPhone X.
Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge

Apple’s existing biometric authentication systems include Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor, and Face ID, which authenticates your face using projected infrared dots and a depth sensor. Both of these systems were introduced on the iPhone, but Optic ID, Apple’s third overall biometric system, is being introduced on the Vision Pro. Optic ID will be used for everything from unlocking Vision Pro to using Apple Pay in your own headspace.

As with every Apple security feature, the company is stating Optic ID “never leaves your device,” and the information is completely encrypted. We won’t get a sense of how accurate and fast Optic ID will be compared to Face ID until we get a full hands-on on the Vision Pro. One of the last widely released consumer tech devices with an eye scanner was the Samsung Galaxy S8 in 2017 — but hopefully, Apple has made some advancements since then that aren’t as easily defeated by hackers.