Samsung may take on Apple’s FaceID with new “Intelligent Scan” unlock feature

Samsung may be introducing a new technology to take on Apple’s FaceID user authentication feature, but without introducing any new hardware.

An XDA-Developer hacker mweinbach has discovered a new biometric feature in the APK teardown of the Settings app from the Android Oreo beta for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 which is expected to show up in the Samsung Galaxy S9.

The feature, called Intelligent Scan, is accompanied by a demo video which appears to show users how to use it and also explains what it’s all about.

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It appears to be combining Iris Scanning and Face Unlock in a single scan, and thereby combining the benefits and cancelling out the weaknesses of both.

In particular, Iris Scanning uses an infrared camera which works best in low light, while Face Unlock uses the visible light front facing camera and works best in good light. Using both simultaneously would improve the accuracy of both and give users a consistent experience whatever the lighting.

Notably, by not adding extra hardware there should be no cost implication.  The S9 is already believed to offer a higher resolution and faster infra-red Iris Scanning camera, suggesting S9 users will soon have the convenience of rapidly unlocking their phone with only a look while also retaining the option of the reliable fingerprint reader at the back.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to be launched on the 25th February just before MWC 2018 and hit the market by mid-March around 2 weeks later. Like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, it is expected that Microsoft will also be offering it at its Microsoft Stores.