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Aside from other exciting hardware features, such as a bezel-less, wraparound OLED screen with integrated Touch ID and click-less Home button, Apple’s tenth anniversary iPhone could bring out iris scanning capabilities next year, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes said Monday. The technology could be potentially used to replace, or augment, Touch ID verification to boost security.

Some phones, like Samsung’s upcoming Note refresh, are expected to adopt iris scanning later this year. Keep in mind that DigiTimes has a hit-and-miss record so the DigiTimes report should be taken with a grain of salt.

“Samsung is expected to lead all vendors by releasing its new flagship smartphone supporting iris recognition technology in the second half of 2016, while Apple is likely to roll out new iPhone devices with iris sensors in 2018,” reads the report.

Iris is the circular colored muscle of the eye.

Iris scanning may be more accurate than fingerprint-based verification, although both the iris and the fingerprint are unique to each individual. However, the accuracy of iris scanning is not prone to wet, greasy or oily fingers like Touch ID.

That said, it’s unclear how the technology could be beneficial becase iris scanning suffers in low light conditions and recognizing complex patterns in a person’s iris is more taxing than analyzing fingerprints from a hardware point of view.

A January 2014 report from 9to5Mac alleged that Apple was actively investigating iris scanning technology and looking at using other sensors already built into the iPhone, like the accelerometer and compass, to improve facial recognition.

For what it’s worth, revered analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple would be bringing facial or iris recognition to a future iPhone as an additional layer of biometric security.

Would iris scanning make a viable alternative to Touch ID, do you think?

Source: DigiTimes