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Samsung Brushes-Off Apple's 3D Facial Recognition as they prepare to Introduce Next-Gen Iris Scanning for Galaxy S9



In late November patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung won't be able to Copy Apple's 3D Face ID in Time for Galaxy S9 Smartphone in 2018." Today we're learning that in order to blur the line and sidestep not having 3D facial recognition like Apple's iPhone X, Samsung will announce they're advancing their Iris recognition feature for their next smartphone debuting in early 2018. Their marketing angle will be that online banking houses support iris scanning as a safer biometric standard for online transactions. However, the only banks making this claim happen to be from South Korea.


It's being report today that "the iris scanner of Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S9 will be improved to better recognize users' eyes, a step that the firm hopes would solidify its lead in biometric verification technology for banking transactions.


Iris recognition is biometric identification that uses irises of an individual's eyes, whose complex patterns are unique, stable, and able to be seen from some distance."


An industry insider told the publication that the "Galaxy S9's iris scanner will have an improved camera lens and functions to make it better to recognize the eyes of users. The iris camera lens will be improved to 3 megapixels from 2 megapixels of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to capture clearer images. The scanner will better recognize users' irises even when they wear eyeglasses, move their eyeballs or are in a too dark or too light environment. The response time will also be shorter from the current one second."


The report further noted that "Alongside the improvement in hardware, Samsung is developing software to more accurately and safely recognize users' irises.


Samsung is also on target to expand the iris scanner into budget models possibly late next year or early 2019 with the ultimate aim of replacing physical banks with mobile banking, according to the source. Currently, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 are the only Samsung smartphones that have iris scanners.


A Samsung spokesperson told the publication that "Iris scanner is the safest biometric authentication (among iris, fingerprint and face recognition) and we will continue to improve the system for upcoming smartphones for safer banking transactions," without disclosing any detailed specifications of Galaxy S9 or proof in the accuracy of such a statement.


Samsung is now accelerating the use of its biometric authentication into banking and financial services.


Its mobile payment and digital wallet service, Samsung Pay, is able to be logged in through iris and fingerprint verification. Samsung Pay is a mobile service allowing users to use their phones like cash or credit cards and withdraw or send money from bank accounts.


Separately from Samsung Pay, Samsung also partnered with several local banks, including Shinhan, Woori, IBK, NH and Busan, to make their mobile banking transactions on premium Galaxy series through biometric verification.


a Woori Bank official stated for the report that "Our customers using Galaxy series are able to use all mobile banking services, including money transfer, subscription to new financial products, loans and currency exchange, through fingerprint and iris scanners without typing in their ID and password. If security is more guaranteed by smartphone makers like Samsung, we are willing to more actively use the biometric authentication in the future."


Kim Jong-ki, a researcher specializing in the mobile industry at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, said, the iris scanner is expected to be more widely used for banking transactions globally in the future as it is safer than fingerprint and face recognition although security should be more improved than now.


According to Dutch tech media, LetsGoDigital, LG Electronics is highly likely to adopt iris scanner for its upcoming flagship smartphone G7, citing the firm's patent drawing submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization.


Concerns still remain among consumers as a series of reports on hacking the biometric system follow every time a new smartphone biometric system is unveiled. In May, Samsung Galaxy S8's iris scanner was fooled by German hackers with dummy eyes although Samsung immediately retorted that the hack was unrealistic in reality.


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