The Chaos Of Unlocking Your Phone In 2018 [Explained]

PIN codes and patterns are outdated. Fingerprints, voices, faces, eyes, double fingerprints are on the blind side behind the scenes, now. The Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) definitely kicked off with the usual fanfare of major flagship iterations, take Galaxy S9 launch, for example. With it, Samsung introduced its own kind of a new, face unlock feature. Google also planned to have added the feature to Android many years ago, but it seems technology has progressed, more than enough to make it worth resurrecting by Samsung. With some extra biometric backup, the house of Galaxy might have also felt the competitive tug of Apple’s slick Face ID unlock feature on the iPhone X.

In fact, Samsung won’t be the one only company innovating when it comes to comparison, how we get our smartphone working. Nevertheless, it’s not just the thousand dollar flagships, either. Biometrics are already here, in a big way, although no-one seems to know which method’s best. Confusion? How many of these popular techniques will last to see 2020?

Speaking about Samsung Galaxy S9’s “Intelligent Scan”. Both the new flagship devices have a front-facing 8MP camera and an iris scanner. These work in tandem for “Intelligent Scan”, which combine the secure identifying nature of your eye’s unique makeup with a camera that detects your face. While Samsung believes its iris scanner isn’t as effective in bright light as it is in the dark, but it’s included the more traditional camera backup this time. The new system integrated, the S9 tries to sign you in with your eyes by default, but when that fails, it will use facial recognition.

Regarding its Intelligent Scan feature, Samsung says the technology is learning-based, meaning it should improve its ability to latch on to your face as you continue to use it. In other words, this is the marquee feature for Samsung when it comes to ID and security. Thus, it plans to use this like how Apple does for app purchases and feature logins.

The company says Samsung Pass will be up first, offering identification for websites through its own Internet app (so it should be used over, say, Chrome on Android.)

Unfortunately, we haven’t tested this Intelligent Scan feature as yet, but remember; facial scans don’t offer the security necessary for keeping your phone locked. Samsung has also kept its fingerprint sensor backside, although it thankfully moved it further away from the camera this time. Just before reviewing the device in full. To be honest, the company’s packed nearly every security option in here.

You can even unlock its newest phones with a pattern, PIN, or password; the iris scanner, fingerprint scanner or face recognition; and Intelligent Scan ((blend of iris and face scanning).

While Vivo‘s hidden dual fingerprint tech is an in-screen fingerprint scanner, which offers a glimpse at the future of all-screen phone interfaces. No giant button needed. At MWC this week the company bested, itself. Compared to the X20 Plus, which otherwise, had a single spot for on-screen fingerprint verification. The new prototype has an entire quarter of the screen to do the deed. It has enough space to use can handle dual fingerprint scanning – if you wanted that extra coating of security.

The Chinese manufacturer using ultrasound sensors that can apparently read your prints across a bigger area beneath the screen, which is something that’s apparently only possible with OLED screens.

Alcatel’s cheaper phones still pack face recognition and fingerprint scanners. The Alcatel 5 might be the new flagship which comes in spec sheet terms of middleweight, but it still folds in both a fingerprint sensor and face unlock features. It doesn’t sound fully foolproof: the “Face Key” will attempt to detect 100 points on the user’s face to verify, so it’s possible photos might be enough to trip it up. Somehow, you can even go cheaper: the Alcatel 3 slides in just under 200 Euros.

Also announced LG’s V30S ThinQ this week. This particular hardware is not a huge leap beyond last year’s V30. And of course, it doesn’t pack any new methods to unlock. It does, however, offer voice unlock, something that snuck into the debut C30 last year but hasn’t been adopted entirely on any other devices. It’s not hard to see why: Asking Google Assistant / Siri questions in public is hard enough, let alone with the frequency we will unlock our phones.

All the mess figures out the technology used by Apple and its Face ID integration on iPhone X. Its True Depth camera system – that’s why there’s a notch at the top. It is made up of a bunch of sensors (ambient light, infrared and proximity) that detect your face, even in the dark. It offers a more secure version of simple camera-based face recognition and is surprisingly smooth and hassle-free – so much that Huawei is looking to fold in similar tech into its next phone, Huawei P20 line obviously.

For now, it is still a mess of techniques out there, and you get what you pay for when it comes to reliability and security. Fortunately, it might be a sign to upgrade your smartphone security.

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