The official news of the Galaxy Note 7 and its fancy Iris Scanning technology sent ripples careening through the internet. Speculation of such a security upgrade had been building, and Samsung finally unveiled the iris scanner at their Unpacked conference, which focused on showing off the technology giant’s latest phablet effort. It has been expected for some time as an upgrade of the now-standard PIN number security feature, and Samsung have been busy perfecting it for around five years. So what have they been throwing together on the old Galaxy drawing board for all that time? How does the Note 7 Iris Scanner work?
As those five or so years have gone on, we have been using our phones for more and more everyday tasks, with a higher rate of personal and private data being handled on our devices than ever before. When you can access tickets, reservations, money and bank details via your mobile phone, you want to be absolutely sure that only you can do it. That is why Samsung have aimed to make their iris scanner the most secure system possible.
Got It All Planned
So far, there has been little information available about the core technology of the iris scanner, other than what Samsung proposed on their patent. They explain:
“The first lens may include two narrow-angle lenses having narrow angles of view to expand and capture images of regions of the eye of the user. The second lens may include a wide-angle lens having a wide angle of view to capture an image of the face of the user. The first lens may be a zoom lens, and the second may be a short focal length lens.”
As Samsung president DJ Koh explained at this year’s Unpacked conference, the scanner will work by taking a detailed reading of the user’s eye, and tokenising it into a unique digital signature. In this way, it is an idea not unlike the traditional key cards that are used on perimeters and hotel room doors, and provides a means of security that cannot be transferred to others, no matter how wittingly.
No One Trick Pony
Despite its debut in the mobile technology market, iris scanning has been used in the past, predominantly in high-security facilities. Until now, it was strictly an industrial device, for markets that had considerable security budgets to allow for such advanced technology. It is quite possible that Samsung’s design has brought iris-scanning into its first domestically-viable incarnation.
The iris scanner is bringing with it a more comprehensive security system, that allows you to apply locks to any number of apps and features, such as private files, galleries and internet pages. Essentially putting two phones into one, you can keep data separate and sorted without the risk of it reaching the wrong hands. But if you are aching for a Note 7 yet have no interest in the scanner, the old-fashioned ways of doing it – PINs, passwords, patterns and fingerprints – are still available too.
Samsung’s iris-scanning technology is ushering in the next standard for mobile phone security, designed to work hand-in-hand with the ever-increasing list of uses for mobile devices. Top personal security is paramount in public interest, and Samsung’s answer to the problem sees them continuing their long-standing tradition of appealing to customer needs.