Despite Samsung's attempt to pioneer iris scanning technology as an authentication mechanism for mobile devices, the company appears to be heavily betting on the fingerprint technology instead.
New reports reveal that the South Korean company is poised to implement the technology on the bulk of its upcoming handsets.
Across The Board Fingerprint Authentication?
There have been previous rumors that the bulk of new Samsung devices — low-end models included — will soon get the fingerprint sensor treatment. This is now corroborated by reports that Samsung is aggressively looking for suppliers that can supply the fingerprint reader components.
Widespread adoption of fingerprint technology is previously believed to be challenging for Samsung because there are few companies that manufacture it in large scale. There are only two major players catering to this authentication module at this point: Sweden-based FPC and Synaptics from the United States.
Outsourcing From Local Suppliers
New information, however, indicates that Samsung could have several other options. There are, for instance, talks that reveal how the company is currently mulling the production of its own fingerprint sensor. Production might even be already underway with the identification of Samsung's System LSI division as the unit purportedly working on the module as early as 2015.
If true, an in-house fingerprint production facility could be similar to Samsung SDI, which is helping drive the reduction of company's dependence on third-party vendors.
There are also rumors that suggest Samsung is in talks with several South Korean suppliers. Phone Arena was able to cite one unidentified company that has been purportedly peddling its fingerprint scanner to Samsung for a few years already. In addition to two or more suppliers, Samsung is said to source as much as 2 million fingerprint modules from these South Korean suppliers.
Fingerprint Sensor vs. Iris Scanner
At this point, it makes sense for Samsung to focus on the fingerprint ID technology after its iris scanner initiative, which was also implemented in the Galaxy S7, purportedly caused the manufacture of the Galaxy Note 7 some delay.
This authentication method is also quite roundabout, prompting users who are not big on security to reject it altogether.
Usage of the authentication module in the Note 7 involved the need turn the screen on first. Then, they will have to swipe a finger across the display before finally triggering an iris scan. That constituted a tad too many taps for most smartphone users who only want to open their device.
Samsung itself explained that the iris scanner is merely an added layer of security rather than a main security feature.