Over the past few days, we've learned a lot about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. In addition to a full list of hardware specs, we have complete renders direct from renowned leaker Evan Blass. Of course, Samsung always has a few surprises up their sleeve, and today, we have some new information about the facial unlock method arriving on the S8.
The Galaxy S8 and Note 8 both feature an iris scanner along with facial recognition capabilities. There are a few drawbacks to both of these implementations. Iris unlocking occasionally suffers in extreme lighting situations, especially for those that wear prescription eyeglasses. Facial recognition, on the other hand, is more robust in different lighting situations, but suffers from reduced security. It appears Samsung has prepared a solution to these problems in the Galaxy S9's software.
All signs point to a new feature called 'IntelligentScan' debuting on the Galaxy S9 next month. The feature will apparently combine the resources of iris scanning and facial recognition algorithms to make for a more secure and convenient unlocking method.
Prolific Samsung firmware leaker Max Weinbach uncovered this interesting new feature buried in the Settings APK for the Galaxy Note 8 Oreo Beta. In addition to the name and details for the feature itself, he also found a short video clip that demonstrates how it will work. While the clip is very short, this appears to be the sort of thing Samsung would post in the documentation section of their website for the Galaxy S9.
Overall, this appears to be a step in the right direction for facial unlocking on Samsung flagships. The ability to unlock in a plethora of lighting conditions will give users another excellent secure alternative to the fingerprint scanner. Whether this new method will let Samsung compete with Apple's Face ID on the iPhone X remains to be seen, but we won't have to wait long to find out. Samsung will take the wraps off the Galaxy S9 and S9+ on February 25 at Mobile World Congress. Who's getting excited for flagship season?