Last year rumors pointed to Microsoft testing Surface smartphone prototypes. Earlier this year Patently Apple covered a patent from Microsoft detailing a future foldable smartphone design. Last week Patently Mobile discovered a new Surface smartphone patent published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
The Microsoft patent filing relates Iris ID designed for a future Surface smartphone and other Surface products (tablet, Surface Book) and possibly HoloLens. Microsoft's method may comprise obtaining image data of a plurality of digital image frames captured of an assumed eye having an iris and a pupil while illuminating the assumed eye from different directions; obtaining comparison data dependent on similarities in parts of image data of at least two of the plurality of digital image frames corresponding to an area of interest of the assumed eye; and automatically determining, on the basis of the comparison data, presence of a verification feature in the assumed eye indicating a real eye.
Microsoft's possible future Surface smartphone #600 of FIG. 6 illustrated above is noted as being able to take multiple photos of the user's eye with lighting coming from two or three directions. Each photo captured while illuminating the assumed eye from one of these directions may be used for detecting the characteristic feature(s) in the iris of the assumed eye.
Similarly, image data of all those three digital image frames may be used for determining the presence of the verification feature(s) in the assumed eye. For more on this invention, check out Patently Mobile's full report here.
Samsung first introduced Iris scanning ID for their failed Note 7.
On March 10, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung Shift's away from Iris Scanning Security alone to full Facial Recognition to get ahead of Apple's next iPhone." On March 29, Samsung introduced full facial recognition with the debut of their new Galaxy S8. Later that day a video on YouTube showed Samsung's facial recognition was fooled with just a simple photo, proving the feature to be a flash in the pan gimmick for their New York presentation.
While Microsoft's patent appears to make a convincing argument as to why their method of Iris ID method will work, based on a triple photo shoot to determine the pupil represents a real eye, biometrics at the smartphone level have yet to prove they beat a simple six to eight digital entry for security.
Even Apple's iDevices ensure that users must first key in a numeric security code before Touch ID could be used throughout the day or with a purchase on iTunes.