One of the most important companies you may not know about just made an important, and impressive, announcement at CES 2017.

Synaptics, purveyor of laptop trackpads and smartphone fingerprint sensors, announced that it is partnering with facial biometrics provider KeyLemon to allow for simultaneous multimodal smartphone security in future handsets. Says Synaptics:

The multi-factor fusion engine allows users to choose a modality based on preference, or one that is most convenient to environmental conditions such as when wearing gloves. Improved security is achieved by requiring multiple-modes of authentication for financial transactions or other sensitive applications.

In other words, your next phone may know that, when it's cold out and you're wearing gloves, facial recognition is the best method for unlocking your phone.

The Galaxy Note 7 used iris scanning when the phone was released in late 2016, but the integration was finicky and prone to failing. It's unclear whether this turnkey solution will be any more robust, but given that we likely won't see this multi-factor technology until the middle of this year, it's possible that just by maturity alone it will be more reliable.

We'll have to wait and see.