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Apple's Vision Pro headset uses Galaxy S8 tech for a key feature

The Vision Pro headset uses iris unlock, which was most notably seen on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 range.

Published onJune 6, 2023

Apple WWDC 2023 vision pro optic id

Apple just peeled the curtain back on its Vision Pro headset, with the company hoping to take the fight to Meta’s Quest headsets and other XR products.

The new headset contains some interesting tech, but it looks like the company turned to old Android phones for biometric authentication.

Apple is relying on so-called Optic ID unlocking, or iris scanning, to unlock the Vision Pro. This is also used for mobile payments, auto-filling passwords, and app store purchases.

We’ve seen this tech on Android before

Iris scanning isn’t anything new for the Android world, as the tech debuted on a Fujitsu phone in 2015. The tech also arrived on Microsoft’s Lumia 950 phones in 2015. But it was most notably used on Samsung Galaxy flagship phones, namely the Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S8 series, and Galaxy S9 range.

Iris scanning on Galaxy flagships was indeed a first-class security feature, allowing you to unlock your phone, make payments, and auto-fill passwords via Samsung Pass. My own experience with the tech was that it was a little slow at times but still very reliable. Samsung eventually ditched the iris scanner on 2019’s Galaxy S10 series, opting for in-display fingerprint unlock instead.

Nevertheless, iris scanning makes sense for the Apple Vision Pro as it should be a seamless unlocking experience for a headset compared to fingerprint unlock. And we imagine that face unlock wasn’t feasible as parts of your face would be blocked by the headset itself.

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