The latest patent from Samsung suggests that the South Korean company is adding a user authentication feature to its smartwatch. Dubbed "Biosignal ID," the authentication process involves a number of gestures that range from opening a hand, rotating a wrist and clenching a fist to body motions such as heart rates and iris glances.
The concern on user authentication has become increasingly important among device manufacturers who had been finding ways to create products that are not only functional but also provide security and protection to the user's personal information.
Samsung, on its part, has been aiming to incorporate both security and functionality to its devices. One example is the Galaxy smartphone which has the Knox 2.0 feature. Another is the new Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 version which supports iris recognition.
The Samsung patent refers to iris recognition as one of the several ways that users can perform identity authentication on a smartwatch. In the figure that explains the patent, there is the figure of a smartwatch which made fans curious enough to know the device's version as it certainly doesn't resemble the Gear S. Unlike the latter, the patent diagram doesn't have a home button and a 2-inch curved display either. The diagram may just be meant for explanation purposes and not a hint to an upcoming wearable device from Samsung.
According to Samsung, a trigger signal can be generated when the user performs a predetermined gesture. This can include opening one's hand, clenching a fist and rotating one's wrist. The wearable device has built in sensors which help in detecting the trigger signal that was generated as a response to the gesture. Once the trigger signal is detected, the process of user authentication can begin through the wearable.
The user's muscle movement can also be detected through the device's sensor located at the back which can be triggered while the device is worn.
The second biosignal may provide unique authentication to each user which can be obtained by fingerprint or iris recognition. This type of biosignal can include the voice of the user, photoplethysmogram signal, electrocardiogram signal and impedance signal that is generated by the body of the user.
Samsung is also looking into using their smartwatch as a channel for performing financial transactions in the future. This has become more significant now that the company has acquired LoopPay.