Mobility and biometrics are well suited for each other. With passwords and PINs no longer fit for protecting important data, such as personal financial information, payment transactions or confidential business materials, a stronger method needed to enter onto the scene and preferably provide less friction than the inconvenient and under-used methods of the recent past. Smartphones made biometrics the obvious replacement: as devices that already house a large number of peripheral hardwares like cameras and microphones that can be used to authenticate users when leveraged by the proper software.
Yet it wasn’t face, eye or voice recognition that captured the mainstream attention, but fingerprint sensors. Thanks to Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint security feature on the new iPhone 5S companies like Fingerprint Cards and Precise Biometrics have been gaining in popularity as smartphone manufacturers scramble to include their own version of finger-based protection to coming devices.
Samsung doesn’t seem to be taking the bait, however. Two weeks ago the Korean technology company brought out the big guns in trying to distance itself from bogus press releases indicating that it had acquired Fingerprint Cards, and now rumors are surfacing that it’s looking to its customers’ eyes for the answer to Touch ID.
The company’s next flagship model, the Galaxy S5, set to launch at next year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, is rumored to feature an iris scanning biometric lock. This is only a rumor, supported by AndroidSaS sources in Korea, but it is an intriguing one that can account for a Samsung official’s comments to the Korean Herald that the company is not currently developing fingerprint biometric technology for its handsets
If this iris speculation proves to be true then the mobile biometrics race will be entering it’s next phase come January, with Android in the lead when it comes to advanced user security – iris scanners are magnitudes of degrees more difficult to spoof than fingerprint sensors. If the rumor is false, however, and the Galaxy S5 launches sans-biometrics, this will indeed be a major misstep in a market where strong authentication methods are not only becoming standard, but being used in novel and innovative ways.