Patently Mobile filed a report back in November 2013 under our former name Patent Bolt, about one of Samsung's first patents on a Retina Scanner. In January 2015 Patently Mobile posted a second patent report titled "Samsung Advances their Iris Scanning and Recognition System." A third report was posted in June titled "A Samsung Patent Comes to Light Illustrating a New Multi-Camera Iris Recognition System." Today Samsung introduced their new Galaxy Note 7 with an Iris Scanner. The new scanner will work with Samsung Pass for banking using the new Iris Scanner with more security than with a fingerprint scanner. Six banks have already signed on as being set up to acknowledge and accept Iris Scanning security.
Just as little side notes, Samsung had a few digs for Apple during their presentation. The first was that the Note 7 doesn't charge for the S Pen as an Accessory and that the new Note 7 comes with USB-C and comes with an adapter so that moving to a new standard won't strand Samsung customers. They were aimed at Apple squarely. What would a Samsung event be without a few friendly jabs at their arch rival?
Of course Samsung couldn't get too nasty considering that Apple is using them exclusively for the first round of OLED displays for a 2017 iPhone.
In the end, did Samsung move to an iris scanner because they just couldn't get their act together on fingerprint technology in the Galaxy S5 and S6? It would appear so – though they'll play up the iris scanner as the better security feature. Will it prove to be so? Only time will tell.