Samsung has filed a patent for a smartphone palm scanner that would help users remember a forgotten password.
Many smartphones already use fingerprints as a faster method of unlocking the device than a password, but Samsung’s invention explores palm biometrics in a slightly different application.
According to a patent (PDF) spotted by SamMobile, the electronics giant thinks the palm would be a good way to give the user a password hint displayed on a screen.
In this system, the lines of a user’s palm become the key to revealing a password. Samsung depicts the hint as incomplete letters that are seemingly randomly positioned on the screen.
However, the position of each partial letter is customized to the enrolled user’s palm. When users hold their palm up to the rear camera and the device recognizes it, the lines of the palm displayed on the screen help reveal the characters in a password. That’s still just a hint given that it doesn’t necessarily reveal their order.
Samsung also sees this system as somehow enabling users to remember a password by holding up a smartwatch with certain patterns to a phone with partial letters.
This technique could become one more way that Samsung uses to enable identification without needing a fingerprint scanner that takes up screen space.
However, it doesn’t appear to be intended as a way to unlock a device through already available methods, such as facial recognition and iris scanning. However, if Samsung were to roll-out this approach as an alternative unlock, it would be a lot cheaper to implement than the iPhone X’s camera array for Face ID.
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