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Examining the differences between iPhone X Face ID and Samsung iris scanning

At the September 2017 Apple event, the iPhone X was revealed. It seems like Apple went all out on its "Anniversary" model, and one of the new features is Face ID.

Unlocking your phone with your face isn't exactly new. Android has had the feature for a while, and Samsung has used a special iris scanner since the Galaxy Note 7. But Apple is doing things very differently, as it is wont to do. Rather than use a pattern to create an unlocking token, Apple is using the shape of your face. And it has some pretty specialized hardware in place to do it.

I haven't used the iPhone X just yet, but this is an area where I have a good bit of experience. Modulated acquisition of spatial distortion maps, then turning the acquired data into something a piece of software can use as a unique identifier has been around for a while, and products you have in your house right now were built, packaged or quality-checked using it. I've been involved in designing and deploying several systems that use depth image acquisition to sort produce (apples, peaches, plums, etc.) by grade, shape, and size and understand how the technology used in Face ID will work.

Let's compare.

Android's facial recognition

Face unlock debuted on the Galaxy Nexus in 2012.

Face unlock debuted on the Galaxy Nexus in 2012.

Unlocking your phone with your face has been part of Android since version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. This is the least complicated and least secure of the three things we're comparing.

Using the front facing camera, your Android phone can grab an image of your face and Google's facial-recognition software then processes it to build a set of data based on the image. When you hold the phone to your face to unlock it, an image is collected, processed and compared to the stored data. If the software can match both of them, a token is passed to the system so your phone will unlock.

Face unlocking came to Android in 2012, and Samsung has made it much better on their newest phones.

The data isn't sent anywhere and is collected and processed all on the phone itself. It is stored securely and encrypted, and no other process is able to read the raw data. Android face unlocking also doesn't need any special lights or sensors or cameras — it uses the same front-facing camera you use to take selfies with.

Samsung has improved the experience with the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 phones by starting scanning as soon as the screen is tapped, and the processing is faster and more accurate because of the better camera and CPU. Face unlock on the Galaxy S8 is fast and generally works well once you get a feel of how to hold the phone while you're using it.

The biggest problem with face unlock is that it's not secure. It's not advertised as being secure, even by Google or Samsung. It's a convenience feature that was built to showcase (and refine) Google's facial recognition algorithms, and a printed photo of your face will defeat face unlock.

Thankfully, Samsung also offers an alternative way to recognize your face.

Samsung's iris scanning

Galaxy Note 8 iris scanning

Samsung first brought iris scanning to the Galaxy line with the Galaxy Note 7. Having a computer scan your eyeballs to authenticate you is something we've all seen in movies, and it is used for secure entry in real government facilities. Samsung is using the same concept with its iris scanning system, just scaled back so it can work faster and work with the limited resources of a smartphone. It's more than secure enough for your phone, even if it's not 100% foolproof.

Every eye has a different pattern, and your right eye is even different than your left.

Every eye has a unique pattern in the iris.Your left eye even has a different pattern than your right. Iris patterns are actually more distinct than a fingerprint. Because every eye is unique, Samsung is able to use your eyes to identify you and act as your credentials. These credentials can be used for anything a fingerprint or even a passcode could. You hold the phone so the special camera can see your eyes and your phone will unlock.

To do this, Samsung is using specialized hardware on the face of the phone. A diode emits near-infrared light and illuminates your eyes. It's a wavelength of light that humans can't see but it's fairly intense and "bright." Near-infrared light is used for two reasons: your pupils won't contract and you'll have no change in vision, and it illuminates anything with a color pattern better than the wavelengths we can see. If you look closely at your iris you'll see that there are hundreds of different colors in a distinct pattern. Under near infrared, there are thousands of colors and they contrast with each other very well. It's just better for grabbing an image of your iris, because even though you don't see any of this, your phone can and uses it to build a dataset.

Samsung uses near-infrared light and a special camera to collect and process data about your eyes.

Once the iris is illuminated, a specially tuned narrow-focus camera grabs an image. The regular front facing camera on your Galaxy S8 could register color information under infrared illumination, but it wasn't designed to do it. That's why a second camera is needed.

This image is analyzed and a distinct set of data is created and stored securely on your phone. All the processing, analyzing and storage of the data is done locally and is encrypted so only the process of recognizing your iris has access to it. This data is used to create a token, and if the iris scanner process provides the right token a security check was passed — those are your eyes, so any software that needs your identity is able to proceed.

Of course, Samsung also collects some data about your face using the normal front-facing camera. Most likely, the facial data is used to help position your face so the iris scanner has a clear view.

Your eyes need to be in the right spot to setup and use the iris scanner.

Your eyes need to be in the right spot to setup and use the iris scanner.

There are some inherent drawbacks. Because using iris scanning to unlock your phone needs to be very fast, not as much data is collected about the pattern in your eyes. Samsung had to find the right balance of security versus convenience and since nobody wants to wait five or 10 seconds for each scan, the iris scanning algorithms can be fooled with a high-resolution photo laser printed in color and a regular contact lens to simulate the curvature of an eye. But, honestly, nobody is going to have a photo of your eye that is clear enough to unlock your Galaxy S8 or Note 8. If they do, you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

Samsung's iris scanning works well as long as your eyes are in the 'sweet spot.'

The bigger issue is accuracy. Enough of your irises need to be analyzed to pass the software check, and because the camera that grabs the image for recognition has a very narrow focus there's a "sweet spot" your eyes need to be in. You need to be in that sweet spot long enough to pass the checks. The system is of no use if it doesn't collect enough data to prevent someone else's eyes identify as you, so this is just how it has to work.

It's a good system as far as biometric security goes, and for many it's great. Only your eyes will work (ignoring the off chance some spy agency has photos of your eyeballs) and it's fairly fast. You just have to learn to use it correctly — and yes, that typically comes as a result of many times holding your phone unnaturally high with your eyes wide open.

Apple's Face ID

Apple has entered new territory when it comes to biometric security on a phone. It wasn't so long ago that you needed specialized lighting, multiple cameras with special lenses and a very expensive image processing computer board for each of them to collect enough shape data for unique recognition. Now it's done with some components on the face of the iPhone X, Apple's new A11 chipset, and a separate system to crunch the numbers.

Face ID projects an intense infrared light to illuminate your face. Just like the light used by Samsung's iris scanner, it's a wavelength a human can't see but it's very "bright." It's like a flood light — an equal amount of light across a wide area that washes your face and will fall off quickly at the edges of your head.

Apple is trying something very different with Face ID and how it gathers data about your face.

While your face is illuminated, a matrix of infrared LED lasers is projected over your face. These LEDs use a wavelength of light that contrasts with the light used for illumination and thousands of individual points of light cover your face. As you move (and we can never be perfectly still) the points of light reflect the changes.

With your face illuminated with the infrared lamp and a light matrix is projected over it, a special camera is collecting image data. Every point of light is marked and as you move and they change, those changes are also logged. This is known as depth image acquisition using modulated pattern projection. It's a great way to collect data that shows shape, edge detection, and depth while an object is in motion under any type of lighting conditions. A ton of data can be collected and used to show a distinct shape that can be recreated in 3D.

The data is then passed to what Apple is calling the A11 Bionic Neural Engine. It's a separate subsystem with its own processor(s) that analyzes the data in real time as it is being collected. The data is used to recreate your face as a digital 3D mask. As your face moves, the mask also moves. It's an almost perfect mimic, and Apple does an excellent job showing it off with its new iMessage animated emojis in iOS 11.

Face ID uses some of the same technology as Android phones with Tango.

For authentication purposes, the data set is also used to calculate a unique identifier. Just like Samsung's iris scanner, Face ID securely stores this data and can compare it against what the special camera is seeing while Face ID is actively running. If the data set matches what the camera can see, the security check is passed and a token that verifies that "you are really you" is given to whatever process is asking for it.

While Apple is also making a few concessions to ensure Face ID is fast and easy, there are some clear advantages from a user perspective. Face ID is actually more secure because you're moving (more data is being analyzed) and there is no "sweet spot" as all of your face is being used and the camera uses a wider field of view. The matrix projected on your face contrasts well against whatever is in the background because a sense of depth is used to isolate your face's shape.

As a bonus, the shape data of your face in real time can be used for other purposes using what Apple calls the TrueDepth Camera system. We saw an example of this with the new portrait mode for selfies, the animated emojis, and Snapchat masks. Apple has built the Bionic Neural Engine in a way that it can share simple shape data with third party software without exposing the data it uses to build a secure identifying token.

Which is better?

We can't say anything is really better until we've tried it.

Better is subjective, especially since we've not yet used Face ID or the iPhone X in the real world. For authentication purposes, the important thing is that the process is accurate and fast. Samsung's iris scanner can be both as long as you point the phone so it can find the data it needs, but on paper, Face ID will be easier to use because it doesn't need to lock on any particular spot to work. And for many of us neither is better and we would prefer a fingerprint sensor, which the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 both still have.

Whichever you prefer, there's little doubt that Apple has outclassed the competition in this regard. Extensive hardware to build and collect data about your face's shape and features, combined with its own processing system to analyze it all more akin to Tango than any previous facial recognition we've seen on a phone. I'm excited to see this level of technology come to mobile devices, and can't wait to see how future products build on what we see from Apple.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

136 Comments
  • What if I have an identical twin ?
  • Iris scanner, no problem.
    Face ID, as stated on stage, "bad luck".
  • I agree irus scanner and finger print are the way to go. I had the irus scanner on my lumia 950xl and I have contacts if I put glasses on or took out my contacts it did not work for me more secure than face. Fingerprint is the quickest though esp on my xz premium.
  • Unlike your Lumia, Apples system is sophisticated enough to recognize if you are wearing glasses. Please watch the presentation.
  • They also said that the iPhone is bezzle-less and it isn't
    ..so what's your point? Half of what Apple claims is BS.
  • Where'd they say that?
  • Lumia 950/HP Elite X3 works with glasses and sunglasses. Not with contacts,
  • It worked with my contacts but if I took them out it would not unlock the phone that's what I was trying to say it was like it could see the contacts but I do have hard contacts not soft ones which change the shape of my eye.
  • did you take the time to train it for different lighting, glasses on/off etc? it has the capability to learn these differences and that's all it takes. I use my 950 XL with or without glasses, contacts etc. and the iris scanning works great, but I've trained it for these different scenarios. as Apple said, they'll be continuously training Face ID. that's the only way to make it work reliably. the question I have is *when* will the iPhone X be doing all this face learning?
  • I did but I do think it was because I have an issue with my eyes called caritona (I think it's spelt) and I use hard contacts so my eye shape is different when I have them in or out and the lenses on my glasses are also special ones to so that might be why I had the issue.
  • Iris scanner is useless in daylight (doesn't even have to be that sunny).
    Also as mentioned in the article it requires you to position yourself directly at the camera. Face ID will probably be better than the iris scanner. But I still agree a fingerprint scanner outclasses both those methods. Just if Samsung didn't put it in such a weird place..
  • I am guessing the problem with the Iris scanner in daylight has to do with the light coming from the sun that we can't see. I am not sure Face ID would be any better at it since it also uses the same light.
  • Yeah. Can't understand why Samsung didn't hero the fingerprint scanner on the front in those huge bezels.
  • Where in the presentation did Apple said it will not work with Twins. Fake news
  • They said if you have an evil twin use a passcode. I watched. It was pretty funny. But yes if you have a twin supposedly it will unlock.
  • They did not say it does not work, what they said was that where on ordinarily there is 1/1 000 000 chance of someone breaking in your phone, those chances increase if you have an evil twin. Meaning that you get very close to having someone who might possibly be mistakenly identified as you.
  • I have identical twin girls, iris scanner isnt fooled.
  • You should be able to find it pretty easily. The slide was showing Spock and Evil Spock 😀
  • For as much as I dislike apple they usually don't release core things that are half baked, map applications are an exception but I don't consider that a hardware core function..
  • I don't think it worked during the apple presentation.
  • Honestly I felt bad for the guy. Imagine being up there and having that happen on the biggest stage possible...... He probably had to change his underwear after that.
  • I couldn't help thinking of this: https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/06/09/an-inside-job
  • Lol!
  • Same thing happened when they introduced the face unlock feature on the Galaxy Nexus back in 2011. It seems unlocking your phone with your face is destined to fail when you're on stage. :P
  • I think that's because they had just turned the phone on. if you look at the image from the event it says 'Passcode required to enable Face ID.' it's the same when you turn on an iPhone or Android phone, it requires your pattern or code the first time before the fingerprint reader works.
  • Not according to quiet a few journalists who have reported it failing in the demo room after the keynote.
    There are also videos of portrait lighting failing as well and the Apple reps quickly trying to change the subject.
  • They forgot to enter the password after restarting the phone or being left alone for a while.
  • Honestly, I'm not big on face scanning still.
  • I just think they should have had Touch ID too. Face ID is cool though. Thanks for this great explanation Jerry.
  • I'm sure Touch ID will be back once sub-glass fingerprint scanning is ready. I hope that's set for next year.
  • Yeah I agree with you.
  • They couldn't get the FPS under the OLED glass correctly this year, so Apple went with this. As much as they try to sell folks on it being better than a FPS, in practice, I would bet anything that there will be way more problems using it. By a mile. they should have just stuck the FPS on the back, but I guess that isn't proprietary enough for Apple :-)
  • Nah putting the finger sensor on the back is just not their style. 3D face id it is until they can get the embedded sensor working under the OLED screen. In the mean time was pretty curious to see how they would replace the home button functionality. Way to go bringing in BlackBerry 10 swiping gestures. I found that hilarious to see. Well they implemented it well. Love it.
  • I was thinking the same thing about the gestures but I was reminiscing about my old Palm Pre. I absolutely loved the swipe based UI palm had in WebOS.
  • A lot of stuff on the new phones was done already done in WebOS. That system was way ahead of its time...
  • So why not put a fingerprint scanner on the back as the backup?
  • Thank you for explaining the differences Jerry.
  • I thought Samsung had one of the best applications of Iris tracking by keeping your phone screen awake when you are looking at it. I'm not a fan of the use of facial/Iris scanning for unlocking. Similar to voice activation, there are those frustrating situations when it just doesn't work.
  • I use Iris scanning which works correctly 99% of the time, but I still have fingerprints and pattern set up as backup methods for that 1% where it fails.
  • Does it work with sunglasses on?
  • Mine does, yes.
  • I remember when my local Telus had a Note7 on display. I tried iris scanning about a dozen times through my prescription Oakley Ice Iridium lenses. and it worked every time.
  • Sunglasses block some UV light but usually, let IR pass through. Unless the frames or curvature of the lenses interferes, iris scanning should work normally. Face ID should be able to reject the frames as well and intelligently draw the face as if they weren't there using a projected path. Safety glasses made for use with lasers will block both because they filter UV and IR light out.
  • Apple always delivers when it comes to execution. On the other hand, Samsung always rushed, so they can claim "first !". no doubt, that Face ID will work as advertised. It will be faster and more consistent-accurate than Iris.
    But, when it comes to true security, all of these are a joke. Nothing beats 18 digit alpha numeric password (symbols included). I keep my phone unlocked with trusted device (Pebble or BT headphones) and at any time I leave without it, phone locks and password is required. I also, can turn off my headphones or watch to activate the lock when needed. Same can be done with turning the BT off, by quick touch on BT toggle.
  • Agreed! Apple always delivers on execution and quality. As the above comment mentioned minus their map apps. We ll see in time how good their 3D facial ID is but one thing is they didn't rush with it. A lot was put into it. If they can get the fingerprint sensor embedded /underneath the screen as originally planned for next year that ll be pretty sweet!
  • I'm actually surprised at how good the Iris Scanner on my Galaxy S8+ is.. it usually works even when looking down at the phone.
  • Samsung wasn't first, nor did they claim it. It also wasn't rushed and it works great.
  • It works pretty well now. Issues with iris unlock on the Note 7 were pretty widely reported before a certain other issue with the device took the headlines.
  • It's pretty terrible for me. Iris scanner that is. I do wear glasses though.
  • Rushed did you say actually samsung has been working on iris scanner tech for quite a while. An the technology has been around even longer . Oh an by the way it works ..of course you wouldn't no that cause you don't own the phone ^^^ udazavlanje
  • they can work on their tech for a decade and still release a product half baked. I'm not talking about Samsung S8 series performance, but on Every single thing they announced and released with all new feature. their FPS sucked, their face recognition was inconsistent, screen-on while watching also sucked. My wife had every single note series and I had S series til GS5. also a lot of my friends and family had still have latest and greatest of Samsung. it more than enough to know about Samsung delivering on promise.
  • Samsung's implementation of Iris scanning is very consistent and very fast. While I like the step forward in 3D mapping that Apple has taken, I don't think it's fair to say that Samsung rushed their Iris scanning tech. It's mature and effective, and it even works through my sunglasses.
  • What have they rushed? And what do you mean rushed?
  • Yeah - it's great, except when it doesn't work when you're demoing it on stage...
  • Haha ikr
  • You mention explicitly that none of the data leave the Samsung phone. Is this true for Apple as well, or do they store your facial data in their cloud???
  • It stays on the phone, as stated by Apple in the keynote.
  • I think my biggest issue is replacing a known, functional piece of security tech with a new, first gen piece of tech. I get that technically it is more secure, but the thing is if it doesn't work as well as Touch ID then people won't use it and in the end it will be less secure. I think it is pretty clear they wanted the Face ID to be a piece of WOW tech that they could have in addition to under glass FPS but it just didn't work out that way. I have no doubt that it will be the best face scanning tech on the market but I do not think it will overcome some of the basic issues of face scanning tech, issues that touch ID has no problem with. I am super excited for Android manufacturers to improve their tech now though, because I think face scanning is the future of biometrics.
  • Haha everybody is worried about Biometrics being saved big brother the government already have plenty of your information including your face recognition it's called your driver's license. As far as which ones is saver are faster on your phone. Well right now iris scanner technology is the safest. The scanner on my s8 plus an note 8 are crazy fast . With one push of the home button. What does amazes me is how so of the closet apple fan boys here on AC claim that only apple brings things to the market that are fully ready . And everyone else rushes there product. An I thought only the 16 year Olds at the malls where the only ones drinking the apple Kool aid
  • Lol, totally agreed. All of this talk about what's stored where and yet I bet most of them have all aspects of their lives plastered all over FB.
  • I don't think that anyone was worried about government obtaining your Fingerprints or Photos - they already have it through your legal document applications. People simply don't feel comfortable with the idea that some hacker can use your Fingerprint and info when and where needed.
  • What if I have a nose job and face lift ?
    What if I get beat badly in a back alley, and my face is disfigured ?
  • Then I say you have more problems the how your cell phone opens hehe
  • Lol.
  • What if I get beat up badly in a back alley, and my face is disfigured ?
    Can I unlock my phone to call for help ...
  • I'm sure you still will have the pin/password option
  • You can access emergency calls on any device without needing a password.
  • Great answer! Well, unless they lost their fingers....
  • I assume if Face ID doesn't work, it falls back to PIN, just like every company's implementation of fingerprint unlock.
  • Then you rescan your face.
  • If/when they get the embedded fingerprint under the front screen working correctly I think it's bye bye face id
  • Being that Samsung is making all there displays. It be samsung that'll figure it out first . An to think all the flack Sammy got for there finger print placement yet apple gets a pass .... interesting
  • I don't think Apple is getting a pass here. Aside from Apple's super-fans, the warmest reception it's getting is "Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see how it works."
  • I liked Face ID... Hope it works well...
  • I only have 1 face.
    I have 10 fingers. If one finger is injured and band-aided, I still have other fingers as backup ...
  • So in the case that your face is rendered unrecognizable, you'll have to rely on PIN unlock until either your injuries heal or you take the time to reset Face ID. This doesn't strike me as a huge problem.
  • With 1 face, I have to wait for it to heal.
    With 10 fingers, I can use the other ones :)
    It's about convenience.
  • That was a great write-up Jerry! Both implementations look great.
  • Great info! Enjoyed it down to the last period. Thanks!
  • I'm good. Don't want cops scanning my face without my permission to unlock my phone lol 😁 😭
  • Then turn it off.
  • Agreed. I wouldn't use it. But the tech is still cool
  • exactly.thats where a long password comes handy :)
  • I'm intrigued by this long password while staying unlocked when connected idea! it's archaic yet so dam simple and proven! Lol
  • Or when I sleep, my spouse or kids scan my face, and I would not know it.
    With fingerprint, they would have to touch me and I would wake up ... :)
  • Your eyes have to be open. Unless you sleep with your eyes open. 😶
  • With fingerprint, when I wake up half awake in the morning, I can unlock my phone with eyes half closed with my fingers.
    With face, I have to force myself to open my eyes wide awake. How inconvenient.
  • Great write up Jerry honestly I'm in the wait to see camp. If it works great hey that's awesome if not oh well.
  • The risk to me is that face scanning is passive. I know when I'm placing my finger on the scanner, but the phone can scan my face anytime I'm looking at it. That opens the door to potential hacks where I give permission for something, like a purchase or granting permissions, without my knowledge. I don't know if Apple requires an on-screen prompt and confirmation before initiating a facial scan - they very well may. I'd be more nervous about this system on an Android phone, particularly a rooted one, where installation of software capable of doing a silent facial scan is more of a possibility.
  • What about all the girls and guys who put on a ton of makeup 🤡 will it recognize them after it's off?
  • Or will the camera break?
  • XBox Kinect camera in a phone, that's something :)
  • Would one of the differences be that one worked on stage and the other didn't?
  • I had Iris scanning on my Lumia 950. it worked, but was a little too slow for my likes. I have an S7E now, and the fingerprint is much faster, IMO. I think it was odd of them to get rid of TouchID, instead of having both. I foresee a lot of people either going back to PINs or returning them if they're not happy with the performance.
  • Iris scanning on the S8+ is instantaneous. (or nearly)
  • the iris scanning speed has been much improved with the later Insider builds of Windows Mobile 10. it's pretty instantaneous now on my 950 XL. considering the SoC's they're using from a couple years ago, that's pretty cool. as some else mentioned, I'm a bit shocked to see Jerry didn't mention Microsoft at all in this.
  • And what flagship phones are available to run your **** OS on? Windows Mobile 10 is a dead horse, but by all means, keep beating it, it's SURE to come back to life...AAAANY day now...yup...keep beating...
  • Oh my... A lot of internalized anger here. Were you... Touched inappropriately by a windows phone? You seem traumatized.
  • Honestly, I've never heard of people actually going through the effort to pick up fingerprints to hack through phones. If someone has the phone, they have it. They're going to reset it. They'll either give it to someone to take it apart and sell it, or just plug it into a computer and reset it that way. People won't get to your data, but you won't get the phone back. "Secure" really only comes from use when your at home and a member of your family tried to unlock your phone, unless you work in the military, which I'm sure you wouldn't have information like that on a phone you just left lying around The only real advantages to biometrics is to be convinient and fast. And, by looking at it, apple's doesn't look convinient considering it failed in tests by reporters.
  • http://www.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2017/09/13/apple-iphone-face-recognit...
  • Very informative article Jerry. Thank you! While the tech behind this whole Face ID thing is interesting the whole concept of unlocking with your face does not look very practical in real life. FPS seems more practical. I guess extensive usage by millions will give a more clear picture but IMHO they should have had this as an option to FPS instead of replacing it. Also, is it confirmed that it does not work with eyes closed? If not then it's easy to bypass this even as you take a nap in public transportation or on a flight. There could be many scenarios in which a system like this could be more easily compromised.
  • Thanks for the great write up Jerry, after all the hype of FaceID, there remains a lot of questions, like what happens when you have a ski mask on, or have face painting or camouflage paint, then you have to use the pin code like an animal again? What is cool is that Apple is touting they are using a neural engine in the A11 to learn your face as you age or grow a beard or wear different spectacles, what about sunglasses though, and face painting and tattoo? IRIS scanning no question is the most secure, if you give it enough time to scan and you're not wearing a contact lens, or some coated spectacles, and look at the sensors properly. Picture based face recognition is just for speed. It is fun that Apple is using the Face cameras and dot projectors to create a 3d mask of your face to apply portrait lighting using again neural engine, Apple does what it does, introduce feature on top of last year feature. Just like what they did with Touch ID, the second year they layer it with Apple Pay, and locking of notes. Then again Apple does what it likes again, removing features people are still using, DVD-roms, Firewire, headphone jacks and now Touch ID.
  • A ski mask would make it fail for sure. Camo face paint would be no problem. And Face ID is likely a lot more secure than iris scanning the way it's done currently, but that's a wash because both are secure enough for your phone.
  • Hi Jerry that will be a big inconvenience. People wear mask for all kinds of reasons. Dust storm, dirt biking, so on. I have a feeling the depth separation from the front sensor will give better portrait effect though
  • Iris scanner seems better since it actually unlocks the phone without the need for a extra gesture.
  • FAIL - iPhone Face recognition fails
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2017/09/13/apple-iphone-face-recognit...
  • bottom line is the iris scanner works is hella fast an is more secure . ill take that over apples face detection which by the way I have that to on my note 8 an s8 plus just saying an a fingerprint reader with a headphone jack heheh
  • The Note 8 and S 8 do not have the implementation done on iPhone X. Yes they do have a great Iris scan though and fingerprint sensor. I’m just saying that rather let’s wait and see as this is a whole new implementation of facial scan it is not the same as the one introduced on Android years ago. In this article Jerry even explains this.
  • Neat stuff, but I think I would prefer the fingerprint sensor. I'm looking forward to it being embedded in the display.
  • Jerry, does iris scanning use the color data as well? And if it does, will it be problematic for someone whose eyes change color? My daughter's eyes change between hazel and blue/gray and greenish, and I'm curious if iris scanning would work on her. Yes, it actually happens, and clothing store employees have detained her so she can change outfits and they can see it.
  • My daughter's do to they go from hazel to gray to a combo of both at random. Lol it's a neat party trick
  • It analyzes the pattern. It "sees" color, but under IR light it's not seeing any colors we can see, but it's looking for the difference between the colors. Imagine a Ying Yang symbol. Now imagine a Ying Yang symbol that's purple and green instead of black and white. The shape/pattern is the same.
  • Got it. Thanks!
  • Things like this worry me. This is a big what if but still it could happen as it's already happened with unlocked phones suppose you happen upon and record an instance of police brutality and the police of course don't like that. What's to stop them from grabbing your phone while you're handcuffed pointing out at your face and unlocking it to delete away? What proof do you have that they did it, just your word and your word won't cut it in court. I think I'll stick with patterns snd pins
  • Very good question
  • Shut your eyes. Both samsung/android face scanning and face ID requires you to be looking at the camera and breathing. Though I'm in your camp. A cop isn't going to get my password, and I'll happily eat a free bologna sandwich and mushy apple while I wait in a cell for my lawyer.
  • Amen.
  • Hmm. Not a single mention of Microsoft, which of course has used both the Iris scanning tech (in is Lumia 950/950XL) and the face scanning tech (in it's Windows Hello service utilizing Intel's 3D IR camera tech). And, of course, this face recognition tech was launched with the Xbox 360's Kinect, which is still finding novel uses. Kudos to MSFT - the real innovator.
  • Oh, and of course there's the patent MSFT was just issued for recognizing a fingerprint through a display screen. So that should be interesting given the rumors that all 3 of the bigs are working on devices that incorporate this tech.
  • The current SoCs have the capability to support advanced fingerprint sensing through different materials, the issues are with reliable implementation for general public usage.
  • Microsoft hasnt been relevant in the Mobile space for years...and they probably never will be.
  • You see, there's these things called patents, and royalties. Watch this space for Microsoft in the AR environment. They're still highly relevant in the Mobile space - Laptops, 'mobile apps', outlook and industrial OSs all do well. Xbox & Office & Windows are cash cows too. Powerhouse of a company.
  • Windows Central is that way ----> I'm comparing it to Samsung because it's an Android phone.
  • Nice, downvoting my comment because it's accurate! HA! MSFT? You a stockholder? Because that would be the ONLY reason to be in any way bullish about MSFTs mobile ambitions...everyone else KNOWS they are beating a dead horse. Find another site, bub, this is ANDROID Central.
  • I'm using a surface pro 4 and the face I'd is very accurate. Isn't it the same technology. Windows hello, Xbox Kintect and now Apple Face I'd?
  • I believe that the same company that Microsoft used for the Kenect was bought by Apple.
  • I have been using the Iris scanning for MONTHS and never had any issues. Unlike the Iphone, which failed ON STAGE the other day...
  • It was because others had been handling the phone earlier in the day, and it had attempted to unlock using their faces and eventually locked requiring a passcode.
  • Sure, I totally believe that lame excuse...
  • my dad and i both have the iris scanner on our S8 phones. My dad wears glasses, and at first the iris scanner didn't work with his glasses, but he's found out the more he uses it the less the scanner has issues with being able to scan while the user has glasses, so it appears to learn as you use it. Which I think is an incredibly important ability for any technology.
  • I've given up on the Iris scanner on my S8+. It's either really slow or fails every time. Face unlock or FPS seems to be much more reliable.
  • That + those awful curved screens have made otherwise great phones complete non-starters for me. The iPhone 8 looks like a 7. The X doesn't even have Touch ID, and really doesn't have much of a selling point a mature man - will probably end up with battery life comparable to an iPhone 7 after a couple of month of use. Samsung put these awful reflective edged screens, and out of reach finger print scanners... LG has a terrible plastic OLED screen in their phone... Xiaomi needs to make a push in the US market, soon!
  • I can see what this has to do with the article,,,,NOT smh....
  • I like the fingerprint scanner over these other methods, especially on my iPhone 7, the S8 I still use the FPS though it is a tad more awkward until you get a sweet spot setup :)
  • I think leaving out the fingerprint reader (because apparently they couldn't engineer it to fit under the screen) is a missed opportunity. I use fingerprint gestures all the time on my nexus 6p and S8 andi ts functionality is fast, and something I would miss.
  • Gonna go ahead and say it, Clearly it has some issues since it didnt really work too well at their own release. I have yet to have the Iris scanner fail and it is very fast.