It used to be that you’d see phone manufacturers competing over screen size or screen resolution. Though that still happens to some degree, a lot of the focus on new smartphones has shifted to security features. What started with fingerprint scanners has now moved onto face recognition, like we see in the iPhone X with Face ID.
When the Galaxy S9 launches, we could very well see Samsung step up its biometric game and take the fight to Apple. Though Samsung may not implement facial recognition capabilities like some rumors have suggested, we’re hearing today that it will be bolstering its efforts in the iris scanning space. Such a report comes from the Korea Herald, which spoke to unnamed sources close to the project.
According to those sources, Samsung is looking at improving the iris scanner in the Galaxy S9. This will be done primarily by increasing the quality of the camera, taking it from the 2MP scanner we see in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to a 3MP one. This change, along with software improvements, will make it easier for the scanner to correctly identify the user, even when they’re wearing glasses or are performing the scan in environments where the lighting isn’t ideal.
This increased focus could eventually mean a broader roll out for Samsung’s iris scanning technology. The Korea Herald report says that we’ll see iris scanners present in Samsung-branded budget phones as soon as late 2018 (though early 2019 is also a possibility). For the moment, only Samsung’s top-of-the-line phones offer iris scanners.
The end game here is mobile banking. Samsung wants to make its phones suitable for use with payment services like Samsung Pay and with mobile banking and financial apps. Carrying out mobile banking transactions on your phone will, of course, require solid biometric security, and Samsung is hedging its bets on iris scanning becoming the most secure of the bunch. We’ll see what improvements Samsung makes to the Galaxy S9’s iris scanner soon enough, as the company is expected to reveal the phone early next year.