Samsung’s newest handset enables users to authenticate mobile payments by gazing at the screen, in the latest expansion of biometric security for smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handset rolls out later this month with an infrared camera that recognizes the irises of its owner, enabling the user to unlock the phone just by looking at it, Samsung said Aug. 2.
Galaxy Note 7 owners may use the iris scanner to authenticate Samsung Payments immediately; eventually the company plans to add iris-authentication for in-app payments.
The iris scanner is available alongside Samsung’s existing fingerprint scanner, and iris authentication takes less than a second, Samsung said.
Samsung isn’t the first handset maker to deploy an iris scanner—Microsoft supports a similar feature on two of its Lumia models introduced last year—but this is the first time an iris-scanning camera will be available on a smartphone model sold in all global markets, Samsung said.
Competition among handset makers is fierce, as overall demand for smartphones slows. Apple Inc. plans to introduce a new iPhone in September, and reports suggest design changes will be minor.