Whether we recognize it or not, the modern smartphone that we hold in the palm of our hand has more than 3 or 4 times the sophistication and power of a 1985 Cray-2 Supercomputer. One Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone has 5 times the processing power of a PlayStation 2. It is really quite amazing when you stop and think about what those handheld devices are capable of doing. The transition from a landline telephone to a mobile smartphone is something that children of tomorrow will never appreciate – all they see is the modern technology continuing to grow at a tremendous rate from year-to-year.
With all of this mobile technology and the countless wireless transactions comes the threat of hackers as they try to gain access to your smartphone and all of your personal and private information. For security purposes the smartphone manufacturers had you ‘sign-in’ with a typed-in password and that morphed into sliding your figure to create a lock-pattern that you would then duplicate to gain access. The latest craze is a fingerprint sensor – called a biometric authentication…referring to authentication techniques that rely on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked. While fingerprints are a great step forward, hackers have already figured out ways to duplicate fake fingerprints to bypass that security.
Samsung has long been working on iris scanning as an alternative to fingerprints – the blood vessels in the human eye cannot be duplicated and each person has pattern unique to him or herself. A recent patent filed by Samsung shows they are headed in the direction of including this feature on future smartphones as a way to authenticate one’s self. Samsung will use NIR (Near Infrared Rays) to capture the unique blood vessel patterns in your eyes. It incorporates a light sender and receiver to capture the reflective light from your iris. In order to rule out any false readings from ambient light reflections, Samsung’s system will capture reflections from multiple angles to filter out any extraneous reflections…leaving only the actual blood vessel pattern.
Very exciting technology and being able to pickup your device, look at it and start using is not only pretty cool, it is also very secure. Samsung has had a fascination with the human eye for years, even having its smartphones ‘watch’ your eye to prevent the screen from turning off as long as you were looking at it, or the way you can lie down to read and not have the display rotate on you. The biometrics we are talking about here are much more advanced, but just another step in keeping our private information…private.