Samsung unveils Galaxy Note7 phone, touts iris-scanning technology


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Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note7 phone Tuesday, which offers iris-scanning technology to unlock the device.

“We’re introducing iris-scanning to protect your information,” said DJ Koh, president of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business, during the launch event at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

“Parents will love this because it will help keep their kids’ phones safe – kids will love it because it will keep them safe from their parents,” he quipped.

Samsung’s iris-scanning technology, which took 5 years to develop, uses an algorithm that maps the shape and contours of a user’s retina. However, Samsung is not the first phone maker to tout iris scanning – Microsoft offers the technology on its Lumia 950 and 950 XL phones.

Koh said that the iris-scanning technology is a good fit for mobile banking. In the future, the technology will be used to authenticate secure purchases made with Samsung Pay.

The Galaxy Note7 also offers fingerprint scanning — users can easily switch between different authentication methods, according to Samsung.

Additionally, Samsung is offering a new Secure Folder on the phone — a separate folder for documents that is accessed via iris scan, fingerprint or passcode. “With secure folder, I can keep certain apps and content under lock and key,” said Justin Denison, Samsung’s vice president of strategy and market intelligence, during the launch event.

The smartphone can also survive in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, according to Denison.