Samsung Said to Follow Apple's Lead with Fingerprint Sensor, No Iris Scanner in Galaxy S5
Previous rumors hinted that Samsung's next flagship device would leapfrog the iPhone 5s with new iris scanning technology, but that rumor may be inaccurate. A recent report from The Korea Herald claims the Korean handset maker instead is working on fingerprint sensor technology for its upcoming flagship Galaxy S5 phone.
"Among the different types of biometric sensors that Samsung is testing for its Galaxy S5, the tech giant will go for fingerprint authentication rather than unintuitive user experience of iris recognition," said an industry source who declined to be named.
"Who would want to put their handset up close to their eyes for authentication in places like movie theaters and bed, or even while they are driving?," the industry source added.
Samsung Vice President Lee Young-hee said in a recent Bloomberg interview that the company was looking into the possibility of using an iris scanner, but can't confirm that the technology would be incorporated into the Galaxy S5.
“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology. We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5.”
The Korea Herald report cites industry sources who claim the iris scanning technology would provide an unfamiliar and uncomfortable user experience. It also is technically challenging as it would require a long-range camera, in addition to a rear camera and a front-facing camera. The inclusion of three camera modules would force Samsung to redesign both the internal layout and form factor of its Galaxy S phones.
Apple has also been rumored to be working on iris scanning functionality, but industry insiders predict it will take several years before a single camera module will be able to serve dual functions as a front-facing camera and an iris scanner. In the interim, manufacturers like Samsung are expected to adopt display-wide fingerprint scanners that would unlock a phone by allowing a user to tap on the screen. Apple has revealed its own interest in such technology, including the ability to turn display areas corresponding to app icons such as those for banking or email apps into fingerprint sensors.