New pictures on Galaxy Note 7 reveal dangers and limitations of the iris scanner

New pictures on Galaxy Note 7 reveal dangers and limitations of the iris scanner
By now, it's next to certain that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have an iris scanner for increased user security. The gizmo will likely work by projecting an infrared beam to the user's eye, then using a camera to read the iris. That's why it would be better and more consistent when working in dark areas or in weird angles.

However, it seems the tech is not without its limitations. A new photo of the Galaxy Note 7's Settings screen for the iris scanner shows a number of warnings from Samsung. For one, it's recommended that iris scans are done at a minimum distance of 8 inches (20 cm) from the user's eyes. To be safe, Samsung suggests using the scanner at 9.8 (25 cm) to 13.8 inches (35 cm) from your face. This is probably due to concerns that the infrared beam could cause harm after regular use at close distances. For that reason, it is also suggested that it shouldn't be allowed for babies or small children to use the iris scanner.

Secondly, Samsung warns that if the user has glasses on, they might want to remove them, as the optics could mess with the iris scanner's work. This is surely going to be an issue for those that need to wear glasses constantly, and we aren't sure whether contact lenses would produce some kind of distortion as well.

All that said, it does seem that the Note 7 would at least be able to read a user's iris quickly and reliably – earlier today, we were treated to a video showing it perform an unlock in less than a second.

Were you planning to use the iris scanner as your regular form of unlocking? Does this new information change your stance on it?

source: GSMCN (Weibo) via SamMobile

Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh



1. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Sounds great - the time when it would be of most benefit, in the dark, when you're usually in bed, is also the time when you naturally hold the phone closest to your eyes... I think the fingerprint scanner has proved a perfectly adequate system in recent years, this doesn't seem to add anything...

4. avatar unregistered

You will sh*t yourself from the excitement when Apple will implement this feature in iPhone X... they will call it Retina Scan and everyone will embrace it.

6. sun0066

Posts: 266; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

Iris scan you mean

10. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

You mean i-iris scan? :D

34. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

its retina scan.. thats because apple give it that name, even if its actually iris scan.. (and the real retina scan will be forgotten since then)

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

No, I won't, just like I didn't about 3D Touch or any other gimmicks. All Fandroid trolls like to presume their beliefs about all Apple users being sheep are true but sadly, as with many of their comments it's all in their own heads. So, rather than presuming anything about me - what are the benefits of this iris scanning? Why's it so good? All I've seen so far is that it's slower than just using the fingerprint scanner. Can use it with wet hands maybe? That's about it as far as I can tell.

13. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

3D touch ins't a gimmick, JS.

9. Nopers unregistered

Whiny fanboys always saying the same thing. In my opinion the iris scanner has a place on the phone for unlocking when you have gloves on or when the phone is wet. But come on "retina scan" makes no sense when Apple refer to retina it's always related to resolution ie the camera and the screen.

11. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Works both ways doesn't it? If Apple made this first then 3/4 of this site would be saying how utterly pointless it is, how it's not "Innovation" because so-and-so used it first back in 1982 etc... It's all very predictable.

18. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

it will be called iris pro smart scanner, its going to happend on 2020.

27. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

That's because Apple does it so well. Not like gimmicks done by Samsung.

32. iushnt

Posts: 3086; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

By the time Apple implements it, Samsung's implementation would already have been so well.

28. xdza1979

Posts: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

I scan

2. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

25 cm-35cm is reading distance .. thats just normal

3. Landon

Posts: 1244; Member since: May 07, 2015

Unless this iris scanner can work as well as the one on the Surface Pro 4, I don't see this as being that useful. It will probably be like the Samsung fingerprint scanner where it will get better over time. First implementation: not great. Second implementation: probably useful.

7. Nopers unregistered

Yeah that's not an iris scanner, it's a face scanner and it also works poorly. I have a SP4 and it can take up to 10 seconds to recognise the face and if l it doesn't then you have to type your pin in.

22. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

What's so special. about your face that it works in a second on my relative's/friend's SP4s and that YouTube reviewer's SP4, yet ut takes 10 seconds for your face?

24. Landon

Posts: 1244; Member since: May 07, 2015

Crap. You're right about the SP4 having a face scanner. My bad. However, I would like to see a bigger pool of customer's experience with the face scanner on the SP4 since it sounds like you have faulty equipment.

5. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I can already see myself using it in two situations, like yesterday when I was in the pool and the fingerprint scanner couldn't recognize my fingerprint. And another case is when I am eating and I got oil and food all over my fingertips. Is it a complete alternative to the fingerprint scanner? Hell no, but if it can be used along with the fingerprint scanner, then this does make sense, a lot!.

12. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

If you got oil and food all over your fingertips, how would you turn the phone on? Wouldn't you get the phone dirty?

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Raise to wake would turn it on and yeah he would get the phone dirty with his messy fingers lol. Voice commands would still allow him to work the phone, since you can simply activate s voice by holding the home button, dirty fingers and all.

20. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I am pretty sure I can use my knuckles to press the home button. Like seriously, I didn't think such a basic stuff needs an explanation

25. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

If you're going to take that much pain, then I guess you can even draw pattern on screen with knuckle. Fingerprint is more than enough. When you can't use it, you use the pattern lock. I still don't see any utility of the iris scanner.

26. talon95

Posts: 994; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

You can't put in a pattern when you have it set to fingerprint. There are lots of ways to turn a phone on. The best ways to turn on and unlock don't involve touching it at all. When you're baking and want to see the recipe, or eating pizza and want to change the channel. For devices with multiple accounts or kids mode it would be nice if it automatically selected the account based on the print or iris.

16. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

If you can't unlock your phone cause your hands are oily, then how do you intend to operate the phone then? With those same oily hands? Or with your eyes?

19. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Am I the only one over here who uses his knuckles to use my smartphone while my fingertips are dirty?

33. iushnt

Posts: 3086; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

I do too..

14. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If I had the Note 7 I wouldn't even use the iris scanner, better safe than sorry.

17. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Samsung, king of gimmicks. Closely followed by apple recently. Learn from motorola ffs with their useful feature add ons (true always-on display, moto assist, moto display, fm radio, gesture support), clean android and crazy hardware customization (Moto Mods). Those guys (Motorola) are doing for hardware what apple and google have done for software (app store/google play store). With those Mods anything is possible. Those are the kind of stuff samsung should be imitating or at least bring on something genuinly innovative.

21. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Inb4 the sammy fans with their "but but but, they brought the curved display" as if that adds anything remotely useful that can't be done more conveniently with a flat display. Though I agree that for aesthetics, the curved displays downright stunning though. Probably the best looking phones right now closely followed by the regular Moto Z imo. Anyway that notwithstanding, what I'm talking about is genuine feature innovation. The only thing useful I can remember in terms of innovation from samsung are multi window support and s-pen which in itself is probably redundant since the s-pen can't even be used to take down notes without it looking like it was written by a clown or a kingdergaten child. Its basically used for doing things ones hand can do except to write albeit like a clown.

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