05.21.18 / Uncategorized

9 Questions on the Galaxy S9: Mark Clifton

galaxy s9 skier eyes face recognition phone

One of the most hotly anticipated features of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 is Intelligent Scan — an innovative new biometric authentication process that combines the collective strength of iris and facial recognition software to quickly and conveniently unlock a user’s phone in any environment.

Designed in the Hamilton, New Jersey labs of Princeton Identity, the iris recognition technology has gone from a science fiction fantasy to a critical product feature and cutting-edge market differentiator in just a few short years. Following its successful collaboration with Princeton Identity in the S8, Samsung is once again leveraging Princeton Identity’s technology to provide consumers unmatched security and convenience in the S9.

Mark Clifton, CEO of Princeton Identity, answers nine questions about the technology behind Intelligent Scan:

1. How did you come to partner with Samsung?

First, Samsung is the number one mobile phone supplier in the world and offered unprecedented exposure for iris recognition security and for our technology in particular. Our technology offers unmatched motion tolerant, contactless, environment tolerant, quick authentication of individuals using the information contained in the iris. Samsung saw this capability as unique in the world, and decided that it was how they wanted to go to market. But even more importantly, the team at Samsung Ventures in California and in Seoul, Korea worked with our staff to adapt the technology to maintain the highest level of security and product integrity.

galaxy s9 face recognition three 3 camera photos

2. What impact has this partnership had on Princeton Identity?

As a company with a niche product market, our work with Samsung has allowed us to grow exponentially. Since the launch of the S8 where the iris recognition was originally introduced, Princeton Identity has since developed channel strategies, brought in new staff, moving from 30 employees originally to 43 today. And, we’ve expanded our work to include contracts with government agencies, applying Princeton Identity’s technology for diverse uses.

Our partnership with Samsung is rooted in a passion for seeking new ways to streamline security, accuracy and ease of use. Moreover, it has allowed us to scale our technology and bring those values to life for millions of consumers.

3. Where does the actual technology for the iris recognition come from?

Princeton Identity’s iris recognition technology is designed and manufactured in our labs in Hamilton, NJ and Stonington, CT.

4. How did Princeton Identity get started in this area of technology?

Much of our staff at Princeton Identity came from SRI International Princeton NJ, where I myself was President of Products and Services. SRI has a long and successful history of delivering leading-edge technology going back to the roots of the company at Stanford University and RCA Research, where many familiar technologies were born such as color television, CMOS and LCD’s.

iris scan graphic galaxy s9

5. How does Intelligent Scan work?

The Intelligent Scan system launched as part of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ mobile phones supports three different biometric authentication options — iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition — so users can choose the best way to protect their device and applications. Intelligent Scan uses the face and iris recognition together to achieve unprecedented ease of use and security.

Of all the kinds of biometric security technologies ripe to explore and improve, using the iris as a key is particularly special given the texture and complexity of the human eye. It’s also significantly easier to maintain consistency, versus the conditions (for example: moisture, dust, grime) that might impact the accuracy, speed and convenience of a fingerprint scan.

6. What makes iris recognition so secure?

The accuracy of iris recognition leads the field in biometric security technology. The iris extremely difficult to replicate since each person’s iris is unique to them, and offers 250 degrees of data point recognition — far more than can be found in the face.

The iris is also up to 100,000 times more resistant to false positives than other forms of biometric security like fingerprint scanning, and becomes stable at a very young age — remaining so throughout life, and can even be distinguished between identical twins. Someone can enroll at age 3 and be recognized at age 30 using the iris, providing longevity to personal security that the market has never seen before this point.

7. How has the iris recognition advanced since the S8?

The iris recognition in the S9 and S9+ is more secure than ever thanks to its pairing with Samsung’s new Exynos 9810 application processor, which has a separate security processing unit to safeguard vital personal data such as facial, iris and fingerprint information.


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8. What else can iris recognition security be used for?

In Samsung mobile phones, iris security can also be applied to make payments through Samsung Pay. With Intelligent Scan, this can actually be different from the authentication registered to unlock the device and thus more secure.

Princeton Identity also offers solutions for workplace security, critical infrastructure, public arenas, and border control.

9. What is your greatest takeaway from the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona?

5G is coming quickly and this new wireless speed will enable many new applications from connected cars to IOT. In both of these markets the need for authentication becomes even more important to maintain the security that people demand. Critical to this is the need that the authentication is convenient and easy to use or adoption will lag in the market.

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