Samsung planning to one-up Apple's Touch ID with iris scanner in Galaxy S5

in iPhone edited April 2014
South Korean tech giant Samsung is considering the inclusion of iris recognition technology in its upcoming Galaxy S5 handset as the company attempts to counter Apple's popular Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

Touch ID

"Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology," Samsung mobile executive Lee Young Hee said during a recent interview with Bloomberg. "We are studying the possibility but can't really say whether we will have it or not on the S5."

The revelation comes as rival smartphone makers race to reach feature parity with Apple's flagship iPhone 5s, which caught many of the company's competitors by surprise with the industry's first 64-bit mobile application processor and the handset's Touch ID system, acquired when Apple purchased biometric sensor maker AuthenTec last year.

Samsung has previously been rumored to be working on a fingerprint scanner of its own, but those plans are said to have been shelved, apparently in favor of the new optical scanning technology. Fellow South Korean manufacturer LG is also reportedly developing a fingerprint-sensing feature for its so-called "G3" handset.

In addition to the biometric capabilities, Samsung's still-unannounced Galaxy S5 is expected to receive an all-new industrial design in an attempt to differentiate it from its predecessors. Samsung believes its Galaxy S4 faced lackluster sales because it did not appear markedly different from the company's S3.

"When we moved to S4 from S3, it's partly true that consumers couldn't really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn't as big," Lee told the publication, adding that the company would go "back to the basics" with the S5.

Lee said the Galaxy S5 is targeted for release "around March and April" and would be joined by an updated version of the company's Galaxy Gear smart watch with new health-sensing capabilities. The device's official announcement will likely come next month at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


  • Reply 1 of 186
    sennensennen Posts: 1,470member
    It'll be as good as Samsung's face ID unlock.
  • Reply 2 of 186

    So I have to aim the phone at my eye?


    Yeah, this sounds more convenient than a fingerprint sensor on a button you would normally push when operating a phone.

  • Reply 3 of 186
    Idiotic, inconvenient overkill.
  • Reply 4 of 186

  • Reply 5 of 186
    How silly will people look holding their phones up to their face?
  • Reply 6 of 186

    Can't wait to see it ;)


    I do like the sound of them changing their design to look different, perhaps they are finally moving away from copying the look of others? Or they've selected a different target to copy, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  • Reply 7 of 186
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,041member

    Originally Posted by ForThought View Post

    How silly will people look holding their phones up to their face?

    I was about to say the same thing, what apple did is very passive, it does not requirement you to do anything special or extra, you do not need to look at the phone for it to recognize you and unlock the phone. The best technologies are the one that work and you do not know that it doing it for you.

  • Reply 8 of 186
    I'm interested to see what they come up with.

    When Apple wanted a fingerprint scanner... they bought a couple companies who dealt with fingerprint scanning. Those companies were probably the best in that field, too. Fingerprint scanning isn't new anyway... it's been around for a while and is very mature at this point.

    Is Samsung developing iris scanning technology themselves... or are they buying companies that already do this? I can't find anything that talks about this kind of technology... especially an iris scanner that would fit inside a phone.

    And then there's the whole accuracy thing. It's gotta work damn near 100% of the time... or else it will be turned off and forgotten. Sadly... a lot of Samsung "features" end up in that category.

    My iPhone 5S rarely gives me any trouble. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've seen the "Try Again" prompt. At most we're talking about a few times out of thousands of operations.

    Then again... scanning a fingerprint with direct touch is probably a lot easier than scanning an eyeball from some distance away.

    Apple's fingerprint scanner is the best implementation of that technology I've ever seen. And it's so simple... it's built into the button you already press. If Samsung plans to one-up that with an iris scanner... they better make sure it's damn good. Bring it!
  • Reply 9 of 186
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member

    Originally Posted by sennen View Post

    It'll be as good as Samsung's face ID unlock.

    Exactly this. If they can't successfully recognise a large face, what chance do they have with a small iris?

  • Reply 10 of 186

    This is silly unless it can scan from a about a foot away or so.  People won't be holding it to their face.  

  • Reply 11 of 186
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    This would be great for a desktop or laptop; idiotic for a phone
  • Reply 12 of 186
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,546member
    Queue the comments that people will get their eyes torn out to activate their stolen phones instead of cutting off fingers ... Oh wait, that was the Scamsung trolls.
  • Reply 13 of 186
    zozmanzozman Posts: 393member

    Imagine how many random play store purchases people could make if the authentication for purchasing things was looking at the screen....Great idea! :P 

  • Reply 14 of 186
    No matter what Apple comes out with, Samsung will try to one-up Apple. That's how successful businesses compete. Samsung must have a huge R&D department seeing how they manage to put out so many products of all different types within such a short time. Apple can barely manage to put out one new product a year while Samsung comes out with 20 new products which I find amazing from a logistics standpoint. Their product planning division must have hundreds of people working around the clock.
  • Reply 15 of 186
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    It would be interesting to see how that works. Do peeps need to remove their eyeglasses? Knowing Sammy, it'll be a half-ass solution that is more trouble than its worth.
  • Reply 16 of 186
    jusephejusephe Posts: 108member
    Samsung will of course try to paint this as an necessary feature... I am actually waiting when a first samsung ad (with Apple fans in queue for next iPhone...) will come out...
    Apple fan: It's has bigger screen !
    Samung Fan: This has an even bigger one.
    A: This has an 64 bit processor !
    S: This has an octa core processor.
    A: You can unlock it with an fingerprint !
    ( touch ID plus finger, the iPhone refuses to unlock few times then the A have to type in the password)
    S: Oh it doesn't work properly, it isn't even secure like everyone can get to your fingerprints.
    A: But you don't have anything like that or ?
    S: I can unlock it with my Eye, wach this ! (S looks at their phone, it unlocks instantly)
    A: wow that is incredible what is that ?
    S: It's the galaxy S5... From SAMSUNG
    The bext big thing is already here, the samsung galaxy S5.
  • Reply 17 of 186
    dv8ordv8or Posts: 26member
    That will work really well in the dark....
  • Reply 18 of 186
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,367member
    They put out more than one product a year. Let's see, so far we've had brand new laptops (one of which was redesigned and made thinner) all with better battery life than the competition for the size. The new MacPro, redesigned iMac (that was about a year ago now), iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina, iPhone 5c and 5s.

    The thing with Apple is they take their shot and they hit the mark nearly every time. It takes how many products for Samsung to try to reach Apple's level of success? Follow the profit.
  • Reply 19 of 186
    diegogdiegog Posts: 134member
    I'm curious to know who these 'fanatical' people are that are just clamoring for technology....
  • Reply 20 of 186
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Hope the manufacturer doesn't put the iris scanners in wrong... Nothing sounds like failure then, "MY EYE! MY EYE!! AHHH!!!"
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