Called “Intelligent Scan,” the feature seems to be a new way of unlocking your phone that combines existing iris scan and face recognition technology.
On their own, both iris scan and face recognition have faced criticism over how useful and secure they are. For example, people have been able to trick certain face recognition implementations by simply using a picture of the phone’s owner.
While the iris scanner is much more secure, it doesn’t work faultlessly in low light which can make it impractical to use. Moreover, with a bit of effort, it can be bypassed.
If the new Intelligent Scan is able to combine both an iris scan and face recognition technology, it could potentially be more secure and faster than using either option on its own.
A video embedded in the settings app shows the feature in action and seems to suggest it will switch between facial and iris recognition based on ambient light:
There is further good news as while the feature is expected to be unveiled on the S9, the report suggests that it doesn’t require any extra hardware. This means that, in theory, it could be released on existing Samsung phones with iris/face recognition technology such as the Galaxy S8, S8+, and the Note 8.
The report meshes in with a rumor published by ETNews in November, that claimed the Galaxy S9 would “increase iris recognition and face recognition speed while maintaining the same basic parts specification and structure as the previous one.”
Of course, only time will tell how secure and fast the feature is, or even if it will actually make it onto Galaxy S9, which is due to launch on February 25. However, if it does, and it works well, it certainly has the potential to be a popular feature.