Facial recognition has been a feature of Android since Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and it’s always worked as advertised: You unlock your smartphone by staring into the front-facing camera.
But it’s always been more of a gimmick feature than anything else — especially since it can be fooled with a picture or video of the owner. That might be why Samsung’s doubling down on its iris scanning and face scanning technologies, according to a report from ETNews.
It’s reportedly slated for the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s next flagship. The company is said to be using similar or comparable front-facing cameras and iris scanners in the Galaxy S9 as the Galaxy S8, but with improved software that’s “faster” and “[more] accurate.” An industry analyst also stated that Samsung is working on a suite for face scanning that would allow additional add-ons to be installed.
The rumored biometric improvements align with Samsung’s strategy of improving devices through updates rather than hardware upgrades, and it’d come as a response to Apple’s Face ID system on the iPhone X. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is likely to launch in early 2018, so as we draw closer, we should see more leaks.
Improving facial recognition by leaps and bounds via software seems a little far-fetched, but if the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have taught us anything, it’s that good camera processing can do a lot for any device.