The next big thing from Samsung, the Galaxy Note 7, has now gone official, but, with the iris scanner being one of the new, mysterious, and most intriguing aspects of the latest-generation phablet, consumers are now trying to find out as much about the iris scanner as possible. As seen from a leaked video two weeks prior to this week’s announcement, the iris scanner works incredibly fast (some may say faster than the fingerprint scan since you need not even place your finger on the home button), but how exactly does it work?
In other words, what happens between your eye and the iris camera to process the iris scan?
Samsung has published details of just how the iris scanner works, showing a diagram of the human eye, the portion called the iris, as well as how the iris camera detects the iris and eyelid, embeds the iris scan as encrypted code, then accesses it when someone attempts to perform an iris scan to see if the embedded code matches the code of the eye in front of the iris camera. Samsung added the iris camera to capture human irises as well as an IR LED to prevent reflected light from contaminating iris scans in any way.
The iris scanner of the Galaxy Note 7 will be put to good use beyond just screen unlocking: there’s also Samsung’s new Secure Folder feature that lets you hide the content you don’t want other peeking eyes to see, and Samsung Pass, a new mobile banking security feature that lets you access financial statements and other personal information by way of iris scans. The Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner doesn’t work with glasses or babies, though, so visually challenged persons will find another challenge here.
As for the future of iris scanners, Samsung has said it intends to bring third-party support to the iris scanner, allowing human irises to unlock other apps and content within Android (and eventually, Tizen too). Eventually, the coveted iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7 could make its way to mid-range devices. Considering Samsung Pay and its role in mobile payments, is a wise business decision.