There is still an ongoing debate on what comes next after the traditional fingerprint scanner. Some would rather still have the same kind of biometric authentication, except under or even inside the glass. Apple prefers to have your face do the talking. Samsung, on the other hand, seems a bit still undecided. It has an iris scanner, sure, but one that isn’t precise and secure enough. But it seems that the Korean OEM is playing with something it calls “Intelligent Scan” which uses both that iris scanner and face unlock features.
There actually aren’t much details yet to make some judgment on this feature. Both features are already available on existing high-end models like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, albeit used separately. There hasn’t been any news on whether Samsung has invested in improved hardware for either so it seems, on the surface, as something that’s a bit more on the software side of things.
So why bother combining the two? Because neither are very accurate on their own. Both iris scanning and face scanning suffer problems in different lighting conditions. By combining the two, Samsung may be adding a second layer of protection to ensure the accuracy of biometric security. It’s probably still going to be less secure than 3D face recognition, which is still commonly regarded as less secure than fingerprint scanning.
The Intelligent Scan feature was discovered by XDA Senior Member mweinbach hidden inside the Settings app of the Android Oreo beta for the Galaxy Note 8. While believed to be intended for the Galaxy S9, it could still make its way to the 2017 models, presuming it’s really just a software feature. It will be interesting to see how Samsung will play this feature in the light of 3D face recognition or even in-display fingerprint scanners.