On Tuesday, Samsung officially launched their new Galaxy Note 7, which is equipped with a built-in iris scanner that allows you to complete mobile payments using your eyes. On sale later this month, the Note 7’s infrared iris scanner can also read your eyes to unlock your phone in lieu of a passcode or fingerprint.
With a curved, waterproof metal and glass body, the Note 7 has the same high-end, premium design as the popular 5.5 inch Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge, including the always-on display and “edge” panel of apps. However, the new phone’s biggest selling feature is it’s highly buzzed-about iris scanner.
The added infrared camera scans your eyes using infrared light emitted from the LED on the front of the phone. To activate the Note 7’s iris scanner, you must first program the feature in security settings. The infrared sensor on the front of the phone will then scan your eyes, and then the collected data will then be saved and encrypted on the phone. After programing is complete, users can unlock the phone, a specific app, or confirm payments simply by looking into the infrared sensor.
The handset’s iris scanner will work similarly to other current smartphones’ fingerprint sensors when it comes to making mobile payments. After a purchase is made using the phone (via Samsung Pay), users can choose to authenticate the charge with either the fingerprint sensor or the iris scanner. Eventually, users will also be able to use the Note’s iris scanner to make in-app purchases with Samsung Pass, which allows third-party developers and banking institutions to take advantage of the company’s eye scanning technology.
The Note 7’s new iris scanning technology may encourage more users to start using Samsung Pay, the Korean company’s equivalent to Apple Pay and Android Pay. Unlike Google and Apple’s mobile payments platforms, Samsung Pay doesn’t rely on Near Field Communication (NFC) chips to make payments so you can use the technology at more in-store locations.
In efforts to “unify its product portfolio” and “minimize confusion,” Samsung skipped over the sequential Note 6, opting for the Note 7 name which numerically lines up with the popular Galaxy S7 line.
The Note 7 will be available from all four major mobile carriers starting August 19.