Facial recognition technology moves forward another step as Samsung patent a revolutionary new software. After relying on iris scanners for unlocking the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9 line-ups, Samsung is finally tackling the flaws in its current systems by upgrading them to include a highly innovative biometric camera. The newly granted patent will bring Samsung back into the authentication game and could prove to be a serious contender for Apple’s current system.
Although 3D facial recognition technology remains one of the safest authentication methods, Samsung has yet to adopt it, instead preferring to stick with the original iris scanner. Doing so has been a bit of a sticking point for Samsung fans as 3D-scanning technology is so accessible now that portable devices are becoming a part of the home.
Users have also made it clear that while it is a reliable method of authentication, the Samsung iris scanner has its glitches, complaining that it is not compatible with certain types of glasses and it doesn’t work when lying down, for example. Apple, meanwhile, has had 3D facial recognition software on its iPhone X for some time, with users preferring the ease of unlocking the phone.
Although the iPhone has been using 3D technology for a while now, Samsung filed their patent for a 3D-sensing camera back in 2014 before Apple launched their facial recognition software. Such will be a key factor in Samsung’s potential launch of the new technology, as it means they can claim they are not technically copying Apple’s Face ID. Although the new Samsung camera will be similar to Apple’s current Face ID system, it will feature the addition of a highly sensitive biometric camera to be used in conjunction with the existing iris scanner.
This camera will include a NIR (near infrared) light source on the mobile to eliminate any changes in ambient light. According to the patent report, the camera will also feature an EDOF (extended depth of field) lens, a bandpass filter and an imaging sensor to enhance its ability to filter out ambient light and convert images into an electronic signal for processing. Of course, this kind of technology will also require a heavy-duty processor to receive and match images so that the user can be authenticated.
Getting with the Times
It is worth noting that the patent also outlines the potential for the camera to carry out functions such as “proximity sensing, a night-vision camera, a 3D time-of-flight sensor, eye position and gaze tracking camera and structured light for 3D sensing.” While this is all speculation at this time, it could mean that the new system can be integrated into other technologies, such as televisions, tablets or PCs.
Although there is no information on how Samsung will employ this technology, the granting of this patent could mean that Samsung introduces the next step forward in the facial recognition game. The revolutionary impact of facial recognition technology is already having a significant impact on a diverse range of procedures, from speeding up the queuing process at events to tightening up security in gaming establishments, so a biometric camera with multifunction use and applications is an excellent way to upgrade current systems.
It is unlikely, however, that we will see this technology in the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S10 line-ups, so it might be worth holding out until Samsung announces the successor if you want to get a hold of this new technology. Although there are no guarantees that it will even be included at all. Samsung may also decide to discard the patent and work on something else; however, from the information available at this time, it would be a shame to waste it.