Why Samsung Galaxy S9 Won’t Feature Apple iPhone X Face ID-Like Technology

It appears Samsung has no plans of catching up and competing with Apple’s Face ID facial recognition technology, which the Cupertino giant introduced with the iPhone X. A new report is now claiming that instead of working on its own 3D facial recognition technology, the South Korea giant is focused on improving its iris scanner. 

On Monday, Patently Apple learned that Samsung is advancing the iris recognition feature it introduced with the Galaxy S8 earlier this year. The company is said be improving the feature so the upcoming Galaxy S9 would benefit from it. Specifically, Samsung is enhancing the way the technology recognizes the user’s eyes in order for it to become a credible biometric verification technology for banking transactions.

As what IBTimes reported in August of this year, the iris scanner is the ultimate security feature of flagship Samsung Galaxy handsets because of its advanced biometric authentication system verifies a user’s identity by scanning his or her irises. When Samsung introduced its iris-scanning technology, it proudly claimed that it is one of the most secure and reliable biometric techniques because it is quite impossible to replicate a person’s iris.

Despite Samsung’s claim, it can be noted that several reports surfaced this year to prove that the Galaxy phone’s advanced biometric feature can easily be fooled by photos and contact lenses. A German hacking group even shared a video showing how the Galaxy S8 can be unlocked using a printed photo of the phone owner’s eye and a contact lens that would help replicate the curvature of a real eyeball. 

With the emergence of this new report, it seems Samsung is eager to address the issues being thrown at its iris camera lens. An industry insider disclosed that the company will be modifying the feature’s hardware as well as its software to ensure that the upgraded version for the Galaxy S9 will be more accurate than its predecessor. 

“Galaxy S9’s iris scanner will have an improved camera lens and functions to make it better to recognize the eyes of users. The iris camera lens will be improved to 3 megapixels from 2 megapixels fo Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to capture clearer images,” the industry source said. “The scanner will better recognize user’s irises even when they wear eyeglasses, move their eyeballs or are in a too dark or too light environment.”

According to the source, who claimed that the response time of the new iris scanner will be faster than the one before, Samsung is tweaking the feature on the software side as well. “Alongside the improvement in hardware, Samsung is developing software to more accurately and safely recognize users’ irises.”

A Samsung spokesperson alluded to the same thing when he was asked to comment on the new report. “Iris scanner is the safest biometric authentication (among iris, fingerprint and face recognition) and we will continue to improve the system for upcoming smartphones for safer banking transactions.”

Finally, it was found out that Samsung is not just improving its iris scanner for its flagship handsets like the Galaxy S9. The company is also planning to expand  the feature into its budget models either late next year or early 2019. Samsung’s goal, according to an insider, is to provide a more ubiquitous mobile banking experience, so users could do away with processing bank transactions physically.

Samsung Galaxy S8Samsung is reportedly not coming up with a technology that could rival Apple’s Face ID. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-ji