A new Samsung patent may indicate that the company is considering incorporating palm biometrics into future mobile devices.
As TechRadar reports, the patent envisions palm scanning as an auxiliary security measure, for use in cases such as where a user is locked out of a device when trying to use their primary authentication mechanism. Instead of offering a password hint, for example, the system would use the smartphone’s camera to recognize patterns in the user’s palm for authentication.
Of course, just because Samsung has patented something, that doesn’t mean it’s actually going to implement it in a real device, and there’s good reason to doubt that this particular system will ever be realized. Samsung is already using iris recognition as its main authentication mechanism on newer smartphones, with fingerprint recognition backing it up, and the company is reportedly working on improvements to its facial recognition technology as well to stay competitive with Apple and its iPhone X’s Face ID system. The failure of those three biometric mechanisms in authentication means it’s not an authorized user, and a palm scan isn’t going to help.
Still, given that the system seems to be able to operate through a standard smartphone camera suggests that it could be an inexpensive authentication mechanism to implement on lower-end devices. At the very least, the patent is another sign of Samsung’s and other smartphone makers’ growing enthusiasm over biometric authentication.