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Samsung Galaxy Note7, S8 will unlock with your eyes

Published : Jun 26, 2016, 1:07 pm IST
Updated : Jun 26, 2016, 1:07 pm IST

Samsung is one of the first tech brands in the world to launch a tablet with an iris scanner.

 Iris scanners can be highly secure as one needs to be in front of the camera to pass the security check.
  Iris scanners can be highly secure as one needs to be in front of the camera to pass the security check.

Samsung is one of the first tech brands in the world to launch a tablet with an iris scanner.

With fingerprint scanners on present phones being a great form of security, it’s time to raise the bar to a higher level.

Earlier phones and smartphones did not have any security features—probably we did not need it as much then. However, with more and more sensitive information being stored on your smarpthone today, securing your privacy is becoming one of the most important aspect. Early smartphones started with a simple PIN and pattern options, but with highly secure fingerprint biometric scanners getting cheaper, many smartphones today are featuring fingerprint scanners as a norm. However, fingerprint scanners too are considered insecure as anyone can still get past it using your fingerprint lifted from your surroundings and creating a replica. Though not as simple, it can still be done and the fingerprint sensor can be fooled into thinking that the original scan is being placed on it and hackers and intruders can steal your data with ease. This has been possible in the past where a fingerprint could be replicated using a simple printer and this was shown in a proof of concept.

However, smartphone companies have been thinking way ahead and the technology is getting cheaper by the day. The next level of security locking can be tied down to your eyes—using an iris scanner. No two people on earth can have the exact same iris pattern—not even identical twins—well, unless nature has overruled this somewhere and we have to still bump into the same.

Samsung is one of the first tech brands in the world to launch a tablet that features an iris scanner on the rear camera. The tablet was launched here in India in May and works with the UID system (Aadhaar) of India. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris replaces the rear camera with an Iris scanner. In other respects this is a fairly standard 7-inch tablet with a quad core processor, a 5 megapixel autofocus rear camera, with a good 3600mAh battery running Android Lollipop 5.11, with 1.5 GB RAM. What is unusual is the 8 GB storage, expandable to a massive 200 GB -- and one can see why.

Taking a bite from the tablet, Samsung is reported to be embedding this camera technology on their upcoming flagship smartphones, the Note Galaxy 7 and most probably (or definitely) the Galaxy S8. As for now it is only a rumoured topic as Evan Blass, a known leakster who tips the world on upcoming tech news on his Twitter handle.

He confirms that the Galaxy Note 7 will feature an iris scanner along with specs such as a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 64GB of storage, Micro SD card slot, 12MP dual cameras, 5MP front camera, and an IP68 waterproof body. His leaked information also ‘confirms’ that Samsung will skip the number 7 for the Note series.

Iris scanners can be highly secure as one needs to be in front of the camera to pass the security check. The iris scanner will also need to be coupled with an IR LED flash system so that it can detect the iris even in pitch darkness. This could be an additional challenge in cutting costs as well as making space for an additional component inside the smartphone. However, if true, the smartphone could see a bump in the price too.

But there could also be a different level of issues of this feature—using IR lighting to illuminate the subject means that the camera/smartphone could be used as a night-vision camera if you manage to increase the luminosity of the IR LED. If you are using a separate IR light source, this smartphone could very well be used for wrong reasons. However, considering that the iris scanning feature will require the subject to be in close range, the camera’s focal length (distance) will have to be limited to prevent ‘other’ uses.

For now, the information on Samsung implementing iris scanning on their next flagships is still in rumour stage and Samsung has not officially spoken on any of these. If Evan Blass’ information is true, we are in for the next level of highly secure persona devices in future.

(This story originally appeared on Deccan Chronicle)