Last week, LG Innotek unveiled an all-in-one module that doubles as both an iris scanner and a front-facing camera, and “it’s possible” that the upcoming G6 will be the first to sport it.
Iris scanning isn’t all that new anymore. The Galaxy Note 7 was really the first mainstream and globally-available phone with an iris scanner, and although Samsung’s phablet is no longer available, we will undoubtedly see the technology return in the upcoming Galaxy S8. If 2014 was the watershed year for mobile fingerprint sensors, 2017 is shaping up to be the year for mobile iris scanning technology.
If 2014 was the watershed year for mobile fingerprint sensors, 2017 is shaping up to be the year for mobile iris scanning technology.
LG Innotek showcased just a few days ago its brand new all-in-one iris scanning module. Whereas the Galaxy Note 7 employed two separate cameras on the front of the device – one for taking photos and one dedicated sensor for scanning your pupils – LG uses a filter changing mechanism to switch between the two functions in one single module. This means aesthetically, it will be cleaner since there aren’t two black lenses staring at you on top of all the other essential sensors that are normally placed above the screen. But more importantly, this means the size of the module is smaller. In fact, whereas with the dual setup, you get a volume of around 0.47cm3, with the all-in-one sensor, it’s merely 0.36cm3.
An anonymous LG official confirmed that the South Korean company will start incorporating this technology into next year’s smartphone models, and when asked about the LG G6, they added that “it is possible” the LG G6 will see an iris-scanner. According to the company, it has already received multiple orders for its all-in-one iris scanning module, so we imagine Samsung and LG won’t be the only players in the field starting next year.
Although placing your finger on a scanner is often more convenient, iris scanning is, in theory, much more secure. That’s why Samsung spent years developing the technology, and that’s why the company is incorporating it right into its own mobile payment system. Rumor has it that LG is preparing to launch its own payment platform called LG Pay. Given its newly announced module and given the company’s recent talks with banks in Korea, I’d say it’s likely that we will see the LG G6 launch with LG Pay support, secured by an iris scanner.
I'd say it's likely that we will see the LG G6 launch with LG Pay support, secured by an iris scanner.
Do you think iris scanners are useful? Which flagship phone are you most excited about? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Update, November 1: LG Innotek reached out to us with the following statement:
“Our iris recognition camera module is recently developed and LG Innotek did not confirm any kind of information of the module. i.e, its application. Also, we didn’t mention about ‘LG G6’ at all at the KES, so the Korean media’s report is not true.”
The component maker confirmed the existence of the module, but unsurprisingly, it strongly refuted any association with the LG G6. Take that as you will.