Osram to Shift Some Investments to IR LEDs for Iris-Scanning

Osram intends to transfer some of the funds it earmarked for a LED chip fab to making IR LEDs for iris-scanning applications as demands from bankers, smartphone makers and VR systems rise, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The LED giant intends to invest EUR 100 million (US $112 million) in its plant near Regensburg headquarters in Germany, where the company makes chips, said the Reuters source, although no official statement has been made.

Osram declined to comment.

Samsung has been one of the first smartphone manufacturers to adopt iris-scanning technology in its new flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which it recently recalled over battery fire hazards.

Industry insiders speculate Apple might consider adopting the same technology in their smartphones in future models as well.

It is possible that Osram will be shifting investments from its LED fab in Malaysia to operations elsewhere where a concession to investors that were disappointed when the company announced its billion Euro investment in Asia back in 2015.

On Tuesday, German daily Handelsblatt reported that Osram would use the money set aside for the LED chip factory to make premium products in Regensburg and Wuxi, China.

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