First it was fingerprints. Then it was faces. Now the next thing smartphones want to be able to read are people's palms.
Samsung Wants To Scan Your Palm
That's at least what a patent from Samsung suggests. It appears the company has been exploring a system that could scan the unique lines on a person's palm and use that information to display password hints in the form of incomplete characters. This way, users who have forgotten their passwords could get a nudge on what it might be, but not so much as to get a full-on reveal.
Samsung Galaxy phones currently have five methods through which a user may be able to unlock the phone: iris scanning, facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, PIN codes, and the traditional Android pattern lock. Palm scanning, if it ends up being a real thing, might be a highly secure, if a little funky, supplementary method when the aforementioned unlocking methods prove insufficient.
Samsung's Palm Reading Feature Won't Unlock Phones
The patent, at 42 pages long, explains how the camera will be used to scan the lines on a person's palm, which, like a fingerprint, is unique to every individual. However, it's important to keep in mind that Samsung doesn't seem to be planning on using it as an unlocking method. Instead, as mentioned above, it will prove useful for when users forget their password.
Suppose the palm being captured and the one stored on the phone match, several letters will then be displayed on the screen in a scattered manner, as SamMobile explains. This way, hackers wouldn't be able to tell the proper sequence of the letters, but it might just be enough for the actual owner to recall what it is.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that this is merely a patent, and most patents often don't come into fruition. Sometimes, companies just file them as a way for others not to come up with the same idea and claim it as their own. If this does end up being a feature on future Galaxy phones, it would be really cool.
Samsung is probably focusing on improving its facial recognition system, though, as a way to compete with Apple's Face ID feature on the iPhone X. Then again, palm scanning doesn't seem to be as hard to develop as facial recognition, so it'll probably end up on Galaxy phones sooner rather than later, perhaps even on the Galaxy S9, which is rumored to be unveiled in January next year.
Thoughts on palm scanning? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!