Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, specs: facial recognition can be used for mobile payments

(Facebook/SamsungMobile)A teaser for the "Samsung Galaxy S8" revealed during the Mobile World Congress last February.

Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone's facial recognition feature may not only serve as a tool to unlock the device.

In a report by Bloomberg, sources close to the matter have shared that the Samsung Galaxy S8's facial recognition technology can be expected to go beyond protecting the phone from unauthorized use, as its purpose will likely be extended to mobile payments. The sources said that the feature, together with the iris and fingerprint scanners, will provide cutting-edge security not only for phone accessibility but also for Samsung Pay, which can be used for online purchases and other transactions.

Furthermore, the sources also shared that the Korean tech giant is currently coordinating with banks to help the latter embrace and incorporate facial recognition systems within the year, in line with the smartphone's global release.

The smartphone's facial recognition feature was later on added to supplement the iris scanning mechanism that had been earlier confirmed. The reason behind its addition is that the iris scanner was said to be facing some issues in terms of speed and accuracy, according to a report from SamMobile, via the Korean Economic Daily, earlier this month. "Due to some limits of iris scanning such as speed and accuracy, we have decided to add facial recognition to the Galaxy S8. With a face scanner, it will take less than 0.01 seconds to unlock the phone," shared a Samsung official.

Analysts, on the other hand, consider Samsung's move as a reaction to rumors that Apple will also incorporate the facial recognition technology in their upcoming iPhone flagship model later this year.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be officially unveiled on March 29, in two separate events held in New York and London. The general release date, on the other hand, has not yet been confirmed, although there are strong speculations that the devices will be available in the U.S. and Canada beginning April 28, according to a report from BGR.