Ever since September 10 of last year, the world of mobile identity has been wondering how Apple’s main competition is going to respond to the iPhone 5S Touch ID feature. The smartphone with an embedded fingerprint sensor has been the subject of much news, editorial and customer review over the past five months, and, like it or not, the sapphire security solution is forcing the major OEMs to throw away PIN and password protection in favor of body measurements.
Samsung’s has long been rumored to be investigating the possibility of integrating iris scanning as the next generation security solution for its upcoming flagship model, the Galaxy 5S. The solution would be a game changing explosion in the mobile biometrics landscape, as iris scanners offer contactless authentication that is significantly more difficult to spoof than smartphone grade fingerprint sensors.
Today the Korea Herald, a constant source of updates on the Samsung rumor mill, is reporting that the smartphone manufacturer has decided to pass on consumer iris recognition, at least where the Galaxy S5 is concerned. Herald reporter Kim Young-won cites an anonymous industry source, quoted with: “Among the different types of biometric sensors that Samsung is testing for its Galaxy S5, the tech giant will go for fingerprint authentication rather than unintuitive user experience of iris recognition. Who would want to put their handset up close to their eyes for authentication in places like movie theaters and bed, or even while they are driving?”
The rumor has now developed into one that places Samsung’s authentication method in the display screen itself, as opposed to in the home button like on the iPhone or the HTC One Max. By placing the sensors under the touch screen, a user can scan her way into her home screen and potentially through a financial transaction via the smartphone interface.
Fingerprint, Iris or otherwise, the S5 is on its way this spring.
“We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” said Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business in a January Bloomberg interview.
Though the Korea Herald is considered a reputable source, nothing is yet confirmed, though it is a very good bet that one kind of biometric or another will be protecting the next major Samsung smartphone. For those intent on authenticating with their eyes, even if the fingerprint sensors rumors ring true come April, there are always third party solutions, like EyeVerify, that can add biometric protection to whatever phone you currently have.