Samsung is planning to bring biometric sensors not just to future flagship models but to its low-end smartphones as well, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company says it’s considering all options and isn’t just limiting itself to fingerprint readers.
“We’re looking at various types of biometric [mechanisms] and one of the things that everybody is looking at is iris detection”, Samsung’s senior vice president Rhee In-jong told analysts and investors at a forum in Hong Kong.
Iris detection makes use of complex but unique random patterns in the human eye to distinguish each user.
The fingerprint reader of Samsung's latest flagship Galaxy S5 doesn’t quite match up with Apple’s Touch ID, and the company is obviously looking to outpace Apple in that area. But the actual reason behind the company's growing interest in biometrics is the enterprise market.
It's no secret that the South Korean company has long struggled to compete with rivals like BlackBerry, which has traditionally been strong in the enterprise space. Although the company hopes to overcome the challenge with its Knox system, the security software has had its share of bad press as of late.
According to Rhee, there are 87 million devices that come embedded with Knox, however, only 1.8 million are actively using the feature, including regulated industries such as banks, healthcare and financial companies.
While he refused to disclose the number of paid customers the company has won so far with its Knox system, he did say that the number of clients is rising.
Iris scanning may be on the cards as a security feature in high-end phones first. On the other hand, the company's fingerprint scanner, which is already open to third parties like PayPal, is likely to land on budget devices.