Samsung mobile chief Lee Young Hee has confirmed to Bloomberg that the Korean company will release its Galaxy S5 smartphone “around March and April,” along with a successor to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. He also said the S5 may include eye-scanning technology for security.
The timing comes as no surprise – last year’s Galaxy S4 (pictured above) hit the shelves in April – but there had recently been rumors that the S5 would appear as early as February, in order to make up for S4 sales not being as boisterous as hoped. Lee said Samsung would aim for a greater physical difference this time – the S4 did look an awful lot like the S3.
As for the new wearable accessory, Lee said it would be less bulky than the Gear and include new functionality, such as heart rate, stress and calorie consumption tracking. He also said that the next Galaxy Note handset – Samsung’s flagship for professionals — could use a “three-sided display” to allow messages to be read at an angle.
The interview also built on rumors from last October that the S5 would be able to scan users’ irises as an unlocking mechanism. This feature would compete with rival Apple’s own biometric play in the iPhone 5s, the TouchID fingerprint sensor.
The question there is how secure Samsung’s implementation would be in reality. Users will want to know that their biometric data can’t be hacked – Apple isolates the TouchID sensor quite effectively to achieve this – and the firm would also need to make sure that its sensors can distinguish live tissue from a high-quality photograph.