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Samsung Galaxy S9 iris scanner getting boost to beat iPhone X?

Samsung is hoping to offer an improved version of its iris-scanning technology with next year’s Galaxy S9 smartphone, according to a new report.

This year’s Galaxy Note 8 featured an iris scanner, and it was generally regarded as a great success. The feature allowed users to quickly unlock their smartphones without having to enter a PIN or passcode, with user verification taking less than one second to take place.

Apple also offered its own alternative with the iPhone X this year. The handset boasts Face ID, a user authentication technology that scans an iPhone owner’s entire face to verify who’s trying to get into the device. Given the hype around Apple products, it’s fair to say that Face ID garnered a significantly higher amount of publicity than Samsung’s iris scanner.

But it seems that Samsung is keen to take the fight to Apple once again, with new reports suggesting that the Galaxy S9 will featured a vastly improved iris scanner.

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According to the Korea Herald – a respected news organisation based in Samsung’s South Korean homeland – the iris scanner is changing in a big way:

“The iris scanner of Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S9 will be improved to better recognise users’ eyes, a step that the firm hopes would solidify its lead in biometric verification technology for banking transactions.”

A Korea Herald source is quoted as saying: “The iris camera lens will be improved to three megapixels from two megapixels of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to capture clearer images.”

The source continued: “The scanner will better recognise users’ ireses even when they wear eyeglasses, move their eyeballs or are in a too dark or too light environment.”

It’s expected that in addition to hardware improvements, Samsung will also make changes to the software that tracks eyes, in order to boost accuracy.

Samsung has not officially confirmed any such changes, but it’s very likely that the company is looking at ways to better compete with Apple when it comes to smartphone-based biometric authentication.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is expected to launch in February or March 2018, although no such plans have been formally announced.

Related: Best Android phones

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