The future of phone security may literally be in the palm of your hand. Samsung recently filed a patent for a technology that uses palm scanning as a means of verifying a user’s identity on future Galaxy phones.
The image found in the patent shows a user taking a photo of their hand to give them a hint to a forgotten password. Instead of simply displaying the password on the phone’s screen, the letters are shown in the patterns of your palm. The idea is that this will help legitimate users remember their forgotten passwords while maintaining security.
Biometric methods of identification are nothing new on flagship smartphones. Samsung’s current line of Galaxy phones uses several different forms of security technology. In addition to passwords, the phone offers a fingerprint reader, iris scanner, and a form of facial recognition. Assuming this palm reader makes it to market, it will likely be a supplemental feature rather than the only security option.
Apple spent a lot of money and effort developing the iPhone X’s Face ID feature and it does work well, but it is also the only option available for the latest phone to come out of Cupertino. Those who prefer to rely on a fingerprint reader will have to go with the iPhone 8 or an Android device.
Samsung, for its part, appears to favor giving consumers a wide-range of options in terms of security. The downside to this approach is that its form of facial recognition may not be as secure as that offered by Apple.
Apple’s Face ID cost the company a lot of time and money to develop, and it is unclear if Samsung would develop this palm reader technology in-house or contract it out to some other company.
There is no guarantee that this palm reader patent will be used in the next Samsung phone, however; it may not be used at all. It isn’t uncommon for companies to file patents for technologies that never get used. Current rumors suggest that Samsung’s Galaxy X may make use of improved facial recognition technology, similar to what is seen in the iPhone X.