Recently filed patent applications suggest that Samsung is looking to implement facial scanning and iris recognition capabilities on Galaxy Note 7.

Patent Hints Triple-Lens Camera For Galaxy Note 7
Source: Pixabay

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 triple camera technology

There has been a lot of rumors about the inclusion of a dual lens on the back of phones for greater zooming capabilities. But Samsung appear to want to take that a step further, with a triple lens on the front of the device, used mainly for security purposes.

It seems with the new patent application (20160180169), you may be able to unlock your phone or phablet with just a look. Trademarks have already been registered recently for ‘Samsung Iris’ and ‘Samsung Eyeprint’, and don’t forget the new tablet, the Galaxy Tab Iris already incorporates iris recognition.

From this, people are concluding that the new Galaxy Note 7, likely to be released in August this year, will include this interesting new feature.

The ability to unlock through just looking at the machine could be implemented on all Samsung products and not just smartphones and phablets, with laptops likely to be the next area to see this being implemented.

How it works

It appears from the patent that three front facing cameras will be able to capture images of both the whole face, and a specific eye/iris shot. By capturing the whole face, the scanner can determine distance from the phone and help to locate the position of the eyes.

Each lens is designed with a different scope, with two narrow-angle ones to capture only the eyes and a further one that can capture the face in its entirety. One of the lenses is likely to be a zoom lens too, which would be a first on the front side of a device.

The patent also includes an infrared illuminator to help with the iris scanning. By using one of the lenses to capture infrared images, it will be able to help the device in conditions where light is limited.

The camera system, after being used to allow access by the owner, can then by switched to a standard camera. This is interesting news for all the selfie fanatics out there who would be able to capture images of themselves with the improved front cameras.

It seems that if the system fails to recognize the user, a voice message will be given, accompanied by on-screen directions to re-try the scanning procedure.

Conclusion

Overall this is exciting news. Outside of the security aspect, the bottom line is that there will be a much better camera. The Kardashian wannabes will be able to take even better selfies, bad for humanity, good for Instagram.

The security aspect is also encouraging. While clever people will always be able to find loop holes, it is pretty hard to replicate someone’s iris and face structure, certainly harder than looking over a shoulder to learn a four-digit pin. The only problem will come with the practicality of the technology.

It needs to be reliable and easy to operate. The fingerprint scanner on the iPhone, while not perfect, is certainly pretty good. In the speed of life today, just touching the button to operate rather than typing a pin saves precious seconds, which people no longer are prepared to waste.

For this iris scanning to really take off it needs to be fast. It must be almost instantaneous or people will rapidly lose interest. Also, what about in the dark, should you want to turn your phone on in the middle of the night, will it still for well? what about in a really crowded place, like a packed train or music concert, where the device may struggle to identify your face among the all the others present.

These issues need to addressed and solved before the technology will become standardised and accepted by the population at large.

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