In recent years, our digital universe has migrated to mobile and our smartphones have become a sort of personal diary, a place to store all types of files and data, from the photos we did in our last outing with friends to our bank details, hence security has as much importance.
With the arrival of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 we can say that the biometric security has been established as the most reliable method to protect the content of our terminals. It was first fingerprint sensors and now Samsung goes one-step further by integrating iris scanner in its new flagship, but what gives us this new security method with respect to the fingerprint reader? Is it better or worse than the footprint? We answer these and other questions below.
What is biometrics?
Not long ago the word sounded Biometrics us Chinese, but with the advent of fingerprint sensors to our phones has become a much more common term, but it does not hurt to remember that what biometric security is.
We can use to identify a card or type a password, but in both cases there is a risk that lose or forget our data and also that we be stolen, which is avoided with the use of biometric systems.
When we talk about biometry we are talking about the physical characteristics that define us and that they are unique to each individual. Biometrics are our fingerprints, our face, our way of walking, our voice or, of course, our iris.
Biometrics in Android
The iPhone 5s was not the first smartphone to have a fingerprint sensor, but it was the one that initiated the expansion of this approach by the mobile landscape and Samsung was one of the first brands to include, specifically in its Samsung Galaxy S5 there by 2014. Since then the fingerprint readers have become a common feature in mobile devices and, although initially reserved especially for more pointers terminals, it is increasingly common to find in phones lower ranges.
Android 6.0 released native support for fingerprint sensors, but this was not the first attempt by Google to biometrics, in 2011 and experimented with facial blur on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but did not have the expected results. Facial recognition authentication is one of the easiest methods to spoof biometric and this was demonstrated when we knew we could unlock the mobile from an image on our face.
Currently, fingerprint sensors are the safest method to make a payment, lock our phones and protect their content, but with the arrival of iris scanners like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has left them a serious contender, right?
Footprint vs. iris which method is safer?
We have already said that biometrics is the most secure personal identification method, but within it there are several modalities between which there are differences, and is that not all biometric systems offer the same level of security. To learn more we talked with Umanick, a company that has since 2013 dedicated to the implementation of biometrics in the health sector, an area in which an identification error can have fatal consequences.
Although both systems (fingerprint and iris) offer a high degree of security, experts agree that the iris is the safest method in identifying people. “Although the tracks are also unique, may have more similarities with each other, while the degree of difference between an iris and another is much broader. No two irises” explains Juanvi Bolufer, software engineer at Umanick.
We can say that having an iris scanner in addition to the fingerprint sensor is a plus important security, but many users are worried about other types of security: your eyes. Biometric identification methods, such as identification by iris are completely safe and pose no risk to our health.
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Thus the iris scanner on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 runs
The system proposes Samsung with the new Galaxy Note 7 allows us to unlock the phone almost instantly just by looking at it. It works through the front camera and an infrared emitter that sends a beam in our eyes, which is then read by the receptor, where the comparison is made to check that in effect the user is authorized and can access the device.
Samsung claims that the method authenticates the iris gets faster even if we choose to enter the track. Moreover, it does not give much trouble reading as in the fingerprint sensors, where dirt, moisture or excessive dryness can affect identification. For the sensor read our iris simply place the phone in front of the face at an average distance and even works if you wear glasses or contact lenses. The cases that can give more trouble is if we take a very dark colored glasses or contact lenses.
Another advantage over the fingerprint sensor is that the configuration is much simpler. When we add a new mark is necessary to lift and rest the finger often followed by varying the position, but to add a new user to the system identification iris just look at the phone for nine seconds. Once registered, the data is saved in a section of the system protected by Samsung KNOX to prevent unauthorized access.
The iris scanner as a complement, not a substitute
Does it make sense to integrate an iris scanner that already has a mobile fingerprint sensor? It is the million-dollar question, and that is the fact that these two methods of biometric authentication living in the same device may seem redundant, but it makes sense. We have already seen that the method of iris provides additional safety, so integration is supported by a compelling reason, but there will be those who wonder why they have kept the fingerprint sensor if the iris is safer and response It has to do with functionality.
It does not matter if placed behind or integrated into the start button, we have become accustomed to the fingerprint sensor and remove it could have a negative impact on the user experience. In addition, we must not forget that handle the phone with the hands, so that in most situations we find it more convenient to introduce the footprint position the terminal at the height of the face so you can read our iris. In this sense, the iris scanner acts as a security plug along with the fingerprint reader and not as a substitute for it.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not the first to integrate mobile iris scanner, Microsoft came forward with the Lumia 950 and XL 950, but the impact of this model could mark the beginning of a new trend in biometric security. Only time will tell if other manufacturers just integrating this technology.