Indus OS, a homegrown multi-lingual operating system brand, and iris scanning technology provider Delta ID have announced plans to launch an Aadhaar-authenticated operating system for India. This unique operating system uses iris biometric technology for secure identification and authentication. The companies are expected to release the Aadhaar-authenticated operating system this quarter.

In a statement, Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-founder and CEO of Indus OS said the company aims to get 100 million users to use the Aadhaar-authenticated OS by 2020. While that may happen in the future, Aadhaar-based systems have received mainstream attention in the industry. Lately, the Government of India has launched a number of initiatives giving rise to more Aadhaar-authenticated applications. “With the government pushing for higher adoption of Aadhaar-related services in the country, this innovation will give smartphone manufacturers an extra edge and act as a means to showcase their support towards government-led initiatives,” the company said in a statement.

What is Indus OS?

The Aadhaar-authenticated OS supports 12 native Indian languages. In addition, it has partnered with 6 domestic smartphone brands including Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Celkon and Swipe. With the Aadhaar-authenticated OS, the company aims to help drive mass adoption of Government to citizen services and initiatives. Presently, India has over 1 billion of the total population registered with an Aadhaar card.

Indus OS and Delta ID, together has created a combination of software and hardware that captures biometric iris information via built-in iris scanner on the smartphone. The OS then encodes this information and encrypts it with the unique ID public password. This encrypted information is then securely sent to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) server and if matched, the server responds with a ‘Yes’ token. Once authenticated, the user gets authorized to utilize Aadhaar ID for a whole suite of activities.

An Aadhaar card registered user virtually has all of its biometric data recorded with the government. This, in turn, has led government and other private players to come up with the Aadhaar-authenticated system. Last year, Reliance Jio activated its customer’s services in the least possible time upon fingerprint authentication via fingerprint scanner machines and data stored on UIDAI server. Initiatives such as these have significantly eased the hassles caused by paperwork for consumers and has also reduced waiting time for activation of services.

FingerPrint scanner vs. iris scanner

While the fingerprint scanner technology has not completely been redundant yet, iris scanner technology still has a great amount of potential to be explored. There are currently not many smartphones available readily with IRIS scanner on board. Last we heard of it was on high-end Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. This means the cost of iris scanner hardware has to be subsequently brought down for the system to spread on a wide scale.

IndusOS and Delta ID in partnership with domestic manufacturers are said to bring mid-ranger smartphones running the Aadhaar-based OS until next year. ”We hope the combination of sophisticated iris scanning technology provided by Delta ID, with the consumer insights of Indus OS, the made-in-India operating system can enable faster adoption of Aadhaar-based services,” said Salil Prabhakar, President, and CEO of Delta ID.

Rise of affordable iris-scanner integrated smartphones

This is likely to give rise to use of sophisticated low-cost iris scanner hardware by smartphone manufacturer and soon the technology could be seen on affordable mid-range phone and not only limited to premium smartphones. As is the scenario, currently fingerprint scanner is popularly used on every other smartphone and once can easily exercise the technology on smartphones starting from Rs 10,000.

With Aadhaar-based OS integrated and low-cost IRIS scanning camera built in smartphones, the future has bright possibilities for it to soon be put to use to authenticate digital payments app which presently is limited to fingerprint authentication.