Samsung Partners With SRI to Offer Iris Biometrics in Mobile Devices

Iris Scanning Large

Samsung never seemed to want to go the usual fingerprint-scanning route that its largest competitor, Apple, was using.  With Samsung, they always want to go the hi-tech route and seem to favor the human ‘eye’ as a means to their end…they were already using your eye as a means to stop scrolling or to pause a video if your eye was not looking at your device.  One of their best uses of the eye was their Smart Rotation that keeps your screen from rotating into landscape mode by following the orientation of your face.  There were rumors back as far as October 2013 that Samsung would skip fingerprint sensors and jump to an eye scanner for their next Galaxy S5.  Sources had indicated that Samsung had been working on the technology for a while.

Even in November of 2013 further evidence was uncovered that Samsung had filed patents that show that they are indeed working for over a year on an Iris Scanner for user identification purposes.  According to Samsung’s study, Iris Scanning is preferable because there are more unique points of identification than a fingerprint, it is a non-contact approach, it can properly identify even if the user is wearing contacts or glasses, is faster and more accurate and is considered a form of biometric identification – more advanced than fingerprint or retina scanning technologies.

Stanford Research Institute (SRI) has just announced the exclusive licensing of its Iris on the Move (IOM) technology to Samsung for use in their mobile devices.  The IOM technology allows the user to simply “glance and go” to recognize the individual.  The first official use will be in a customized Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 tablet that will introduced at the new Security Industry Association (SIA) in the New Product Showcase (NPS) at the International Security Conference (ISC) West 2015.

Studies have shown the purely iris-based solution to be more than 1,000 times more accurate than using your fingerprint as identification.  Mark Clifton, president of Products and Solutions at SRI International said, “The next-generation IOM iris recognition solution will create new applications and markets and increase adoption in existing markets.”  If the IOM proves itself in the customized tablet, we can expect Samsung to start using the technology in its upcoming smartphones – who knows, maybe the Home button will shrink in size or be unnecessary in the future.