Samsung dreams of retina scanner, ultrasonic pen for future Galaxy devices

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Credit: Samsung

Samsung may have a couple ideas to help its phones and tablets stand out again, as the company feels growing pressure from cheaper Android devices.

On Samsung’s Exynos Twitter account, the company hinted at a retina scanner for future Samsung devices. “Security can be improved using features unique to us,” said the Twitter post, which included an image of a phone with an eye at the center, next to a mock interface for paying bills.

The post suggests that future phones powered by Samsung’s Exynos processors could include retina scanning as a security measure. Samsung already includes fingerprint scanners on its Galaxy S5 phone and Galaxy Tab S tablets, but the sensors are harder to activate than the TouchID sensor on Apple’s iPhone 5s. A retina scanner, if it worked properly, could be a more credible response to Apple’s approach.

Meanwhile, Samsung has filed a patent application for a stylus that communicates with a smartphone through ultrasound. As SamMobile points out, an ultrasonic pen would offer accurate note-taking without the active digitizer that Samsung uses in its Galaxy Note phones and tablets. Removing the digitizer would allow for thinner devices at lower costs.

Qualcomm has already shown off an ultrasonic stylus, tied to the company’s Snapdragon 805 processor, and Slashgear notes that the technology works well with no detectable input lag. Samsung may have something similar in the works, or could be looking to adapt Qualcomm’s technology for future Galaxy Note devices.

Several sites have speculated that we might see these technologies in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, but there’s currently no evidence to support those claims. At best, we can say that Samsung is considering ultrasonic pens and retina scanning for future products. But as cheaper phones and tablets get better at mimicking Samsung’s style, and pose a greater threat to its profits, the company needs fresh ideas sooner rather than later.

This story, "Samsung dreams of retina scanner, ultrasonic pen for future Galaxy devices" was originally published by Greenbot.

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