Samsung launches its first Android device with iris recognition security, sees "great potential" in the technology


Samsung spared iris recognition for its flagship handsets, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, but the company isn't one to turn a blind eye to developments in biometric security. The Galaxy Tab Iris' launch is all-around proof that Samsung has iris scanner security ready to go and it's just a matter of time before the technology trickles down to other products. Can anyone say "Galaxy Note 6"?

Okay, now let's hold our horses a little, because the Galaxy Tab Iris is a bit of a one-off on Samsung's part. The tablet was produced by Samsung India as part of the government's Make For India program. It's designed to comply with the Unique Identification Authority of India's Aadhaar system of a 12-digit individual identification numbers and the government's Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC). Samsung believes its "advanced iris recognition technology" will solve the hassle of having to use separate devices for bio-metric identification, and envisions making citizen services like income tax filing, passport renewal,property registration, and passenger verification virtually "paperless."

To set things in motion, the company is providing an "Identity SDK" that lets application developers take advantage of the iris scanner for creating new finance, payment, and authentication solutions. This is probably the kind of iris scanning functionality that you can expect in future Android devices by Samsung and its competitors. The company sees "great potential" in iris scanning, so its emergence in upcoming high-end phones and tablets seems like a sure bet.

Let's move on to the tablet itself. You probably got the message that the device is designed for government/citizen services use and the iris scanner is its technological centerpiece. This explains why the Galaxy Tab Iris is a mid-range affair, designed for utility rather than performance. The device features a 7-inch 600 x 1024 resolution display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core chip with a gigabyte and a half of RAM memory. The 2G/3G-connected device also boasts 8GB of expandable storage and a 5MP auto-focus rear camera, which Samsung included with document scanning in mind. The Galaxy Tab Iris costs INR 13,499 (about $199).

Prior to the Lumia 950 and 950 XL shipped, iris scanning smartphones were few and contained mainly to Eastern markets, which made them decidedly exotic. Following Microsoft's move into eye-based bio-metric security, we profiled the technology's inner workings, potential benefits and shortcomings, believing iris scanners were to become part of Samsung and LG's first half of 2016 flagship smartphones. While things didn't turn out this way for one reason or another, the article is still a compelling read if you are interested in smartphone iris scanners. Feel free to check it out from the links below!

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source: Samsung

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41 Comments

1. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Who you're kidding, My dear PA... Samsung sees "GREAT POTENTIAL" in all sort of... Ahem... You know... Techno Garbage... WHICH I'm not at all criticizing cause curiosity is what moves the civilization to the next level... Samsung is a 'visionary' and I respect that... If only it had the vision of Mr. Jobs...! (P.S Never owned an iPhone) Needless to say; Fingerprint Scanner accomplish the same thing more conveniently... Unlike Iris Scanners; which side-effects to our retina are still unknown at this stage... But whatever, eh? G'Day!

9. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes and the ability to break into fingerprint security...

11. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

LOL. Vision of Mr. jobs.

13. sachouba

Posts: 267; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

As the name suggests, iris recognition uses your... iris to recognize you, not your retina. Which means that a photo of your iris is taken, and then analysed. I don't see how a photo can be dangerous for your health. For your soul, maybe ?

18. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Definitely for your soul.

23. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Fingerprint scanner can be hacked more easily than iris scan. you can make a print in a lab and use it to unlock any fingerprint locked stuff but cant do this for iris scan at least yet.

38. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Next up; Loki's eyeball scanner from the avengers coming soon...

32. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

Iris scanner has no bad effect on our eyes. It uses low intensity IR light to detect. If IR light damaged our eyes, we would have been blind the day we were born. It is a gimmick though, I agree on that one. Too inconvenient and weird to use.

34. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The future is focusing on security. Iris scan is probably one of the most secure biometric methods out there. Airports use them and they are really reliable. The TPM data if hacked and recovered can't restructure the IRIS. It is pretty much a huge safe guard especially with the movement of mobile payment services and even passport services in the future. And of course the tech will advanced to a much better and cheaper solution. Consider the MS lumia 950XL. At first it was slow and pretty unreliable, with firmware/software updates it as become pretty fast. Much faster than typing pin in. It's pretty much 1 second. Of course there are scenarios where people with extremely thick glasses and other things can cause issues. But even that can be solved with better tech. Higher res camera, multiple camera and IR scanners. It's just to expensive now. Likely accounted for the high cost of the lumia 950XL. But more companies adapt it obviously the process will get cheaper.

37. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

It was probably in the works for a while considering the show The Night Manager introduces Iris Scanning for authentication purposes for the main characters.

41. Plutonium239

Posts: 1249; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

"Iris scanners, which side-effects to our retina are still unknown". Umm, I'm not sure you understand exactly how they work. It uses infrared light and a camera that sees infrared. Basically, the side effects are the same as being exposed to light. Exactly none. Fingerprint scanners are not more convenient because they have to have active participation on your part(swiping your finger or thumb), whereas iris scanners passively scan your iris to unlock the device when you hit the power button to turn it on and it unlocks with no effort from yourself.

2. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Microsoft is the influence. Surface phone and Panos is Microsoft Walter white and Joe B is Jesse trying to run away but he will always come back.

3. Eraman

Posts: 164; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

WTH?? Tablet from 2011 to be the first iris tablet?? You're kidding of course. I can accept it if it's the Tab S2.

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Sounds like a gimmick to me.

5. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

It isn't a gimmick if it's from Apple.

6. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

You know what kind of people bring Apple name in almost every article here, just to have the pleasure of bashing a well established brand with impressive Eco-System (Not just an OS)? Insecure people... Well, enough said!

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I keep saying it - the ones who are obsessed by Apple and constantly talk about them on here aren't the people who use their products; it's those who pretend to hate them... Like the kid in the school playground who picks on the girl he secretly fancies. Sad really.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes that's the typical jargon which has been proven wrong, more than 1M times literally. I have Appel products. So, what's your point. If I mention Apple simply because they are a top OEM and their products are always been compared with other top OEM's, somehow that means I don't use Apple products? I must use them since I know more about them then the fans who claim too use them. What we get tired of is you jealous Mofo's when Samsung does something not seen on another mobile, its considered a gimmick. But then when Apple comes out with it 3 years later and gives it a new name, its not seen as one. Maybe I should start sounding like Mxy, which its easy to mimic an idiot usig YOUR statement. The ones who are obsessed with by Samsung and constantly talk about them on here, aren't the people who use their products; its those who pretend to hate them. See how easy it goes both ways? Mxy we know is a complete an uttered stupid ignorant iPhone fan. yet he manages to come to every Samsung article and talk about their products, which based on what you said, he doesn't even use. Jim you're such a dunce!

20. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Well I think the Samsung Galaxy S7 (particularly the Edge) is probably the best looking and one of the best all-round phones out there, it's not perfect and some do some things better but it's probably the best all-rounder currently available. So I don't know where some of these delusions about "iFans" comes from, usually the fandroids... But with that said, if this was an article about the next iPhone introducing an Iris scanner rather than Samsung all that would be said over and over from yourself and your little crew on here would be about how Apple (or in this case Samsung) can only copy since it's been done already by Microsoft, Fujitsu, Alcatel, Vivo, ZTE etc... Innovation my ass. It works both ways.

25. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Jimrod been using ipad since the ipad 3 then air and air 2. Only secret fantasy i have is iOS running on android flagship hardware. thats would kill it and i could switch phone every 5 year only.

39. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

I never owned an Apple product. Stop acting like a Mr Know-it-all, bro. BTW, it's funny to see someone pretend to be omniscient.

24. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Its fact thats when Apple use something its not gimmick even if other used it before and where called gimmick. Get out of your cave troll.

33. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

apple looks good, i mean most devices are pleasing to look at and hold. when it comes to real productivity more than email checking and playing fruit ninja apple ecosystem is far back comparing what Microsoft and android is offering for us now. i still use macbook pro for media consumption, i mean emails youtube etc, but when it comes to other things like writing longer emails using some documents with multiple windows its just frustrating, working in Lightroom on device worth 1500$ when i need to see spinning circle almost every time i work on 20mpx ++ raw picture applying filters its just shows how professional it is. well my woman said, maybe apple is not that bad its just me, who is used to work on device called pc where is possible to achieve things faster in simple tasks. i would not call myself fanboy on either google microsoft or android, i simply appreciate to spend money on devices which are worth paying, i really hope they will find some new CEO who can bring fresh tech not recycling old products.

10. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Well, even if Samsung invents a phone that can cure cancer you stupid trolls will still call it gimmick.

12. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

They would say phone doesn't need to do that, even if the phones has it and still cheaper than iPhone.

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yep and so was long-press and short-press, but I see Apple copied it. Oh yeah and what was that feature introduced on the S4, you all claimed was gimmicky and now the iPhone has it, and now you don't think so? You know, on the S4 you could just hover your finger over a web-link and have the desription appear or if in the gallery you can see a preview of a video or photo without actually opening it. Oh and I recall even though the Moto Atrix had a fingerprint reader, it was considered a useless gimmick on a phone. Oh and docking a phone and using it like a small laptop was considered a gimmick too, but I see Microsoft has something like it now too. Then you fools consider high resolution displays a gimmick, but when it was apple who had them, then you thought it was the best thing ever. Features like wireless charging, fast charging, dual cameras and more are all said to be gimmicky features. Why is it a gimmick until the phone you like gets it? Doesn't that make you a hypocrite? You know what? The downside to finger scanners is all a person needs is time and your phone and it can be bypassed. Worse case scenario, you get kidnapped and they just cut your whole hand off. Taking someone eye out may be a bit more of a chore. Since your eyes don't touch anything, a piece of take can't be used to lift a print. After all, a greasy fingerprint can be lifted with a piece of scotch tape. Also, the US Gov't doesn't think they are gimmicky. They've been using the tech for at least a decade. Wonder how many years before the iPhone has anything remotely close? Samsung's willingness to try new things is why they are the head Android OEM, is why they now sell more phones in the USA and many other places than Apple, is why they sell 300M phones every year since the release of the S3. Gimmick or not, it can still be useful. If Apple had it first, you're swear to Tim Cook boner he was the king of tech.

21. talon95

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Yes, people are too willing to call features they don't have gimmicks in order to feel better about their own device. More importantly, I still have issues with both fingerprint sensors and iris scanners, since both of these can be collected by authorities, simply because you choose to enter a foreign country. I prefer iris scans since at least you don't "leave them behind" everywhere you go. But we need something that is much safer, that can only willingly be provided. For example if your glasses had an EEG reader (electroencephalogram) built in and you could think a specific numeric pattern that would be recognized and sent to your mobile device to unlock it, then there would be no way to recover it without your consent. I has to be more than just an image or a word as someone could cause you to think of any one specific item, but only by choice would you mentally recite a numerical string. It also provides plausible denyability in the case someone tried to force the issue.

7. adrianzka

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 25, 2013

I don't personally see iris scanner as a good replacement to a fingerprint scanner, just because of how convenient fingerprint scanning is. But as a double security pass for transactions and business-use phones? That would be superb

15. xperian

Posts: 421; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Looks like old Samsung tabs from 2010

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yep. Just like Sony, who's Xperia phones are nearly 100% identical, no matter what they rename them.

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