Only a month ago, Apple released its premium handset iPhone 5S with a fingerprint scanner feature called Touch ID. Now, archrival Samsung is rumored to be going the extra mile to introduce a new authentication system into their next smartphone so as to avoid being called a copycat. After blaming the US firm Validity for their not having a fingerprint scanner out on time for their Note 3, Samsung may take the gamble and shoot for integrating advanced eye-scanning technology into their Galaxy S4 successor.
Eye-scanning or "Iris Recognition" involves camera technology with subtle infrared illuminations to capture detailed nerve pattern on the iris. Using this data, digital templates are created by mathematical and statistical algorithm so that accurate profile is created. This biometric technology is nearly impossible to crack by any imposters. It is currently being used by many countries for identification for purposes in airports like the one in India. The Indian government's owned UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) also uses Iris recognition technology in their on-going national ID enrolment scheme.
The rumor of Samsung's retina scanner feature is also being echoed today by The Times of India. Yet to be fair, the Android site AndroidSaS who reported on this as well, doesn't seem to be taking the rumor all too seriously, to their credit.
For now, the rumors of Samsung having a retina scanner ready for their new Galaxy S5 in Q1 2014 sounds like a tailor-made one to make Samsung sound like an innovator. It's likely one created to generate false buzz in the hopes of making the market forget their true failure of not delivering a fingerprint scanner solution on time last month.
Perhaps Samsung will surprise and prove us all wrong by actually delivering such a feature. Yet for now, all I'm reading about is a lot of hot air, wishful thinking and Sci-Fi dreaming coming from those who are hoping that their team will be able to pull off something original that actually matters to anyone in the not-too-distant future. If you're one of those waiting for such a miracle, then you should be warned that the long wait ahead may prove to be excruciating.