Soon, every phone in India will become Aadhaar authenticated.
A homegrown cellphone operating system developed by a group of IIT men could be the first to become Aadhaar authenticated. Its makers are working out a system that will allow users to carry out online transactions using iris scanning system. The fool-proof method, the company hopes, will help popularise non-cash, digital transactions, which is one of the key initiatives of the Narendra Modi government.
Indus OS is the second-most popular operating system in the country after Android. Within two years of its launch, the system -- which is incorporated in at least 65 smartphone models including from brands like Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Celkon and Swipe -- has cornered 7 per cent of the market, which translates to 7 million people.
With the Narendra Modi government pushing to link the Unique Identity Number to bank accounts, mid-day meal schemes and government subsidies, the day is not far when every phone in India will become Aadhaar authenticated, reason its makers.
"Over the next 2 to 3 years, every phone in India will have Aadhaar," said Rakesh Deshmukh, chief of Indus OS. "We have partnered with Delta ID, which is the ID software manufacturer company...We have reached a point where we have built a kind of a hardware capability which is to scan your Iris from your cellphone camera."
This, the makers hope, will further help popularize the Indus OS, which already has several features that are tailor-made for India's vast semi-literate population - people who shy away from using a smartphone due to language barrier.
Indus OS incorporates 12 regional languages, which can be installed by the swipe of a finger. The Indus Reader feature allows the user to convert text to regional languages and hear the converted audio. This means even a webpage can easily be heard by an interested user. These features, says user Santosh Panigrahi, makes the phone particularly attractive for him.
"I can read only Oriya hence I just switched to using this smartphone that allows me to read my messages and even the icons in a language of my choice," he said.