Apple wasn’t the first to put an iris scanner on a mainstream phone. Samsung actually did it in 2016 with the Galaxy Note 7, but a massive scandal forced that mobile device to be pulled from the market. So it was reintroduced on the Galaxy S8 and stuck around on the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung’s technology, though, pales in comparison to Apple’s. In 2018, that could be changing.
The South Korean company is reportedly investing heavily in improvements to facial recognition, according to ETNews. Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S9 next year featuring the enhanced technology.
To achieve quicker and more accurate facial recognition, the iris scanner and front-facing camera will need to be swapped out for new components. The company doesn’t want to do that, however. While keeping most of the basic parts, Samsung will overhaul software to enhance the experience on its phones.
Currently the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 analyze iris patters alone. Apple, meanwhile, looks at an individual’s entire face. Both are using infrared lasers, but the iPhone X looking at a face while the Galaxy phones look at just eyes tell you who’s at an advantage. That’s why Samsung needs to do a lot more in order to get its technology on the same level as Face ID. Still, the report suggests Samsung doesn’t want to order an entirely new system.
Unfortunately for Samsung, software probably isn’t the way to rival Apple’s Face ID. Facial recognition on the iPhone is fast and accurate because Apple packed a ton of hardware into the notch at the top of the display. If Samsung wants to have its facial recognition be as good, it may have to fatten the top bezel.
Expect to see the Galaxy S9 debut in March or April. Although a launch at MWC 2018 in February shouldn’t be ruled out, Samsung typically likes to make announcements at standalone events.