Samsung, Apple compete for futuristic services

With Apple acquiring Israeli facial recognition startup RealFace, the competition is getting tougher among handset makers to introduce more futuristic bio authentication services for their upcoming flagship devices.

According to local reports, the iPhone maker has recently taken over the technology firm at no confirmed price, raising expectations that upcoming iPhones will be equipped with surprising biometric-converged security systems.

This will tighten the already-intense race against Samsung Electronics’ upcoming counterparts, as the Seoul-based firm wowed the mobile industry last year by adding iris scanners into its ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

The eye-catching and enhanced security system came years after most of smartphone vendors here and abroad have maintained fingerprint locker systems as a core security solution for mobile devices.

However, with growing numbers of people making financial transactions with their smart devices, handset giants began to increase their investment volumes to develop more secure unlocking systems by using biometric authentication and identification systems.

In mid-August last year, Samsung hyped its iris scanning security system which the firm said would drastically reduce any potential threats of hacking, at a time when mobile banking and financial apps are more common with the rise of the so-called financial technology, or fintech.

“More and more mobile players are seeking to diversify their revenue sources into the mobile payment services market ― which includes Samsung Pay and Apple Pay,” said a mobile industry source. “The market will grow bigger at a faster rate down the road, and things are no different for the mobile authentication industry for which biometric authentication gains the spotlight due to its difficulty to duplicate.”

The move is not limited to the IT and mobile industry, as the global healthcare, medical and other industries are on a clear path to adopt the bio authentication systems, according to the source.

Samsung Electronics said last year that the company would diversify the usage of the iris scanner into more areas ― including making transactions within apps, reading passports, taxations or education.

As the latest Galaxy Note 7 fiasco was attributed to faults in battery cells, the company is unlikely to scrap the bio security system for its upcoming flagship device ― Galaxy S8 ― which is rumored to debut next month.

“Samsung and Apple are the current leader in terms of smartphone technologies. Once their new bio authentication systems gain positive responses from users, latecomers in the industry ― including Chinese giants such as Huawei and Oppo ― are highly likely to follow suit.”

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