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Samsung's retina scanner could make online shopping more secure

18 July 2014 - 09:38 by Simon Crisp

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Smartphone manufacturer, Samsung, has teased a new technology that it is getting ready to integrate with upcoming handsets, enabling mobiles to scan the retinas of users and improve the security of these devices as a result, according to TechRadar.

Some people will be familiar with fingerprint scanning, thanks to its arrival onboard mobiles like the Apple iPhone 5S, but Samsung's plan is a little different. Rather than relying on identifying people by their fingerprints, which can be subverted by malicious third parties, Samsung is going to build smartphones that can scan retinas and use this to unlock the handset and even confirm online purchases.

Although the tweet, in which Samsung mentioned the impending arrival of retinal scanning tech onboard handsets, did not go into detail about devices which might feature this, it did explicitly argue that security would be boosted as a result.

Since safe shopping online is increasingly carried out via smartphones, any system which is capable of beefing up the protection afforded to consumers will no doubt be seen as a good thing.

Some observers believe that the first phone to feature retina scanning will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which is set to make its debut this September. This means that in the short term, it will be reserved for range-topping models that most consumers may not be interested in purchasing.

However, high end features eventually trickle down and if Samsung's retina scanner is a success, then it could become a staple of more affordable handsets within the next couple of years.

Integration with third party shopping apps and payment services will be necessary, to ensure that it is embraced by consumers, but Samsung's commercial grunt should help to make this theoretical state of affairs a reality.