Samsung S5 could come armed with Iris eye-scanning technology

By Sooraj Shah
09 Jan 2014 View Comments

Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the S5, could come equipped with eye scanner technology as the firm looks for new features to compete with Apple's iPhone 5s' fingerprint sensor.

"Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology," Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of the South Korean mobile business, said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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"We are studying the possibility but can't really say whether we will have it or not on the S5," she told Bloomberg.

Iris recognition technology is well-known in the UK, having been brought in by the government for use in airports. But the Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS), which cost an estimated £9m, was scrapped eight years later after it failed to speed up queuing times and was found to be too expensive.

Similar technology could be used in Samsung's S5, which should be released by April, Lee said. It will be paired with a successor to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Samsung will try to phase out the existing "bulky design" of the smartwatch and arm it with advanced functions, Lee added.

Lee admitted that there would have to be bigger changes than those that were made in the transition from the S3 to S4 models if the firm is to make a big impact on the smartphone market.

"When we moved to S4 from S3, it's partly true that consumers couldn't really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn't as big," she said.

"For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it's about the display and the feel of the cover," she added.

Lee then added that the South Korean firm is targeting consumers who want to be able to use their smartphones in a professional capacity, suggesting that the smartphone maker is tailoring its new device for the BYOD and CYOD trends.

"We are targeting consumers who want more professional use and tend to be willing to pay more for handsets," she explained.

Meanwhile, Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon is to meet with Apple chief Tim Cook at a private mediation along with lawyers from both firms. A joint court filing suggests that the companies will meet by February 19 to discuss their patent disputes in another attempt to discuss opportunities for a settlement.

The companies have been involved in an ongoing battle in the courts, and meet again at a US court in March over Apple's claims that Samsung infringed its patents.

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