Given that the LG G flaghsip series tends to arrive in the earlier part of each year, it’s about time we started hearing a few things about 2018’s LG G7.
According to a new report, the LG G7 will feature an advanced iris scanner technology similar to what Samsung has aboard the Galaxy S8 series and Galaxy Note 8.
The technology was noticed in an LG patent, picked up by LetsGoDigital, which shows an “all-in-one” design capable of functioning in different lighting conditions and which would also incoprorate the phone’s normal front-facing camera sensor.
This would appear to be something like the all-in-one sensor LG debuted at 2016’s Korea Electronics Show (KES), which has never appeared in a commercially released device since.
The patent also seems to show a few additional flourishes LG has introduced, one example requires the user to follow a series of dots on the screen – a bit like the current pattern unlock where you swipe with a finger, but here you would move your eye to follow the pattern. This kind of “active” retina scanning with a moving eye means someone cannot break into the phone just by holding up a static image of your eye.
Iris scanners can only work by lighting up the eye in front of them with a type of infrared light, this way an accompanying camera sensor can capture incredibly high-detail images of the iris, including features you simply can’t capture with regular light (from an LED flash, for example).
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 feautres a second front-facing camera (not incorporated as an all-in-one lens would be on the LG G7), which is only there for iris scanning, as it has been designed to operate with infrared light. Regular cameras tend to filter infrared out as it can reduce photo quality. So it’s interesting that LG may be planning to combine the two.
According to the LGD report, LG may be using a method where the sensor array can switch light filters, meaning it would be a regular camera filtering out infrared, until it needs to perform iris scanning duties, at which point the filter would be deactivated.
What will be really interesing in 2018 is whether or not the LG G7 re-takes the LG G series place as the LG flagship handset. This year, because LG couldn’t get any Snapdragon 835 processors in the earlier part of the year (Samsung had bought them all!), the LG G6 launched with the Snapdragon 821 processor from 2016, which meant it struggled to keep pace with the compeition. The LG V30 emerged later in the year as the defacto flagship with a Snapdragon 835 onboard.