Samsung exec says iris scanners will come to mid-range phones, tech took 3 years of research


Following its Unpacked event in New York that saw the Galaxy Note 7's introduction, Samsung Mobile president D.J. Koh spoke briefly about the company's plans for the iris scanning security technology it has been using in two of its Android devices - the new Note 7 and the Galaxy Tab Iris.

Mr. Koh revealed that Samsung invested over three years in its development, adding that iris scanning is the most secure ("in theory") out of all biometric systems. The company is thinking about letting third-party app developers use the scanner with an API, and is in talks with banks for the possibility of authorizing large transactions with it.

Moreover, continued cost cutting will eventually let iris scanners move to lower-tier smartphone models, boosting Android's often doubted security capabilities. This means future mid-range models by Samsung and other companies are eligible to receive the iris scanner module.

The iris scanner in the Galaxy Note 7 can be used for unlocking the smartphone. It's able to handle glasses and eyepatches, discern high-resolution photos of users' eyes from the actual organs, and works in both light and dark. Early hands-on impressions describe a quick and refined user experience. Additionally, the system is more secure than fingerprint unlocking, as the blood vessel patters in every individual's iris are harder to obtain than fingerprints, which we leave everywhere we touch. It also boasts the lowest measured failure rate.

Competitor LG has been rumored to work on its own iris scanner solution with fellow Korean firm Irience. The iris scanner was widely expected to make its debut on the LG G5, but it looks like LG is holding it up for a future flagship phone. This could be the LG V20, which is supposed to appear by the end of Summer, running Android 7.0 Nougat.


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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

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20 Comments

1. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

iPhonearena, why not..... ".........ALONG WITH APPLE"

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

3 years.. give them 3 years to copy it.. and you'll find article title like "xiaomi redmi 7 will comes with a iris scanner similar to the iPhone's iris scanner" or just change that redmi 7 to moto G7, samsung J7(2019) or any low-end phone, lol..

2. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

Samsung is really leading the charge in technology. Apple is mere follower.

9. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 943; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I agree but you cant deny Apple did a better job with the finger print scanner.

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Actually they didn't. They bought someone ese's tech. The company they bought was also going to sell the sensor to other OEM's. But apple bought the company which prevent the sell of the sensor to others. So OEM's had to find an alternative. Any company that makes fingerprint readers, can make them fit any button size. The only thing is, the bigger the button the larger the sensor so you don't have to swipe. Apple didn't invent or create or evolve this tech. They bought it. Samsung actually made their own. BIG DIFFERENCE. You're just stupid. It's sad that PA's own employees are posting comments to start flame wars. /S

17. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Actually they didn't. They bought someone ese's tech. The company they bought was also going to sell the sensor to other OEM's. But apple bought the company which prevent the sell of the sensor to others. So OEM's had to find an alternative." Then they did it better dumbass. They used their resources to undercut the competition......that's how business works. "Apple didn't invent or create or evolve this tech. They bought it. Samsung actually made their own. BIG DIFFERENCE" A) The tech HAS evolved over the years since Apple's acquisition. Touch ID #2 is a lot faster than #1. B) Samsung didn't "invent" the Iris Scanner either, they bought the sensors from some Japanese company. C) You're right, Samsung did make their own fingerprint senaor.......and it sucked ass for two years lol. It's STILL rather unreliable even compared to 1+'s implementation. "You're just stupid" My how mature of you :D. I think it's time you got a job buddy, you take this phone crap wayyyyyyy too seriously.

10. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Dude, not even able to follow..

20. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Look at the first three posts, all Apple haters banging on about Apple in an article about Samsung. So much butthurt.

3. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

who owns the iris scanning tech?microsoft or samsung?

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

No one owns the Iris tech in general. But the algorithms became widely licensed through a series of companies: IriScan, Iridian, Sarnoff, Sensar, LG-Iris, Panasonic, Oki, BI2, IrisGuard, Unisys, Sagem, Enschede, Securimetrics, etc...

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

none of them.. iris scanning is old tech.. and its just basic of this iris scanner inside note 7.. microsoft and samsung is developing their own iris recognition algorithm.. I believe both have bunch of patent about it.. and on last paragraph they said LG also developing their own iris scanners

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

5. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

3 years? Really?

8. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Can Sammy make a W10 phone!!

11. JMartin22

Posts: 2379; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I still see this going the way of Android face unlock. It's just not as reliable or as efficient in terms of execution as the fingerprint scanner. Poor lighting will hinder it , phone needs to be held up to your face, shaky camera can make it inaccurate. I love Samsung hardware quality and reliability of their devices, but this is a feature we didn't need. We had enough secure methods of unlocking our phones, this isn't anything anyone asked for. Their R&D budget and component space could have been used more wisely.

12. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Did you even read the article or watch the videos on internet. It works in pitch black without light , success rate is higher than fingerprint and just by watching YouTube videos I can tell you it's faster and more convenient than fingerprint unlock. This will be the new standard.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It's infrared dummy, it doesn't need light to work. It's that simple. try doing some research before you speak of things you don't know. Learning to read is very fundamental to gaining accurate knowledge. Its on thing to pretending to be a techie and actually be one.

18. LeonVonKaiser

Posts: 25; Member since: Aug 03, 2016

"Its on thing to pretending to be a techie and actually be one." I see what you did there. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

19. LeonVonKaiser

Posts: 25; Member since: Aug 03, 2016

Fingerprint scanning in general was a feature that we didn't "need", yet it got implemented and spread like wildfire. There are a lot of features in smartphones that are not "needed", if you go by what the word means.

13. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Wait until Apple takes this and calls iRis a new innovation never seen before.

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