Samsung is in a precarious position right now
The Korean tech giant is still hurting after killing the fire-prone Note 7, which cost them over $6 billion and lost them their global lead in smartphones.
And their biggest competitor has an anniversary device launching later this year (iPhone 8? iPhone X? We’ll know soon enough.).
How can Samsung make their Galaxy S8 stand out (without blowing up)?
Aside from a Siri-esque voice-based assistant and a bezel-free full phone display, Samsung’s marquee device will feature facial recognition technology compatible with Samsung Pay.
This represents a first for major mobile wallet apps.
Android Pay and Apple Pay both require a fingerprint or a pin to complete a payment.
Faces are easier than fingers
Fingerprint scanners, in particular, have been a thing for unlocking smartphones for quite a while – but sometimes you just can’t get the right finger to the scanner, and it’s easier to type in a backup password.
But what if you could just hold your phone up to your face for a security-selfie?
Facial recognition not new for Samsung devices
And previous Galaxy devices have used facial recognition technology for unlocking phones, but not for payment apps.
In terms of Samsung’s direction going forward, this is revealing in a couple of ways.
First, it shows that Samsung thinks mobile wallets will be where it’s at in the future, even if we aren’t quite there yet.
Second, they’re investing in biometrics, instead of tighter security for traditional passwords and pins.
Consumers are valuing mobile security more and more, and it can feel impossible to protect your personal data when giant companies seem to be constantly announcing security breaches.
It doesn’t help that a strong password is nearly impossible to remember – and you should have a different password for every account.
Progression, not quite perfection
That’s why biometrics are on the rise, but they aren’t perfect either. Biometrics are unique biological measurements that can be transformed into a digital record of a user.
These methods include fingerprint scanners, voice verification, retina scans, and even vein scans.
When executed well, they should make it easier and safer for you to access your phone or your financial accounts.
Harder to hack
Because of the methods used to store and encrypt bio-data, hackers have a way harder time getting a hold of and using it. But if they do manage to infiltrate the bio-data fortress, you’re pretty much screwed.
In spite of the risk, though, everyone seems to be ready to move forward with biometrics-based authentication. It’s hard to say no to advanced, easy, and instant.