Apple just took the wraps off its Vision Pro headset, with the company hoping to take the fight to Meta’s Quest headset and other XR products.
The new headset packs some interesting tech, but it looks like the company has turned to older Android phones for biometric authentication.
To unlock the Vision Pro, Apple relies on so-called Optic ID unlocking, or iris scanning. This is also used for mobile payments, autofill passwords, and app store purchases.
We’ve seen this technology before on Android
Iris scanning is not new to the Android world, as the technology first appeared on a Fujitsu phone in 2015. The technology also appeared in Microsoft’s Lumia 950 phones in 2015. But it was mostly used on Samsung Galaxy flagship phones, particularly the Galaxy. Note 7, Galaxy S8 series and Galaxy S9 series.
Iris scanning on Galaxy flagships was a truly top-notch security feature, allowing you to unlock your phone, make payments, and autofill passwords with Samsung Pass. My own experience with the technique was that it was a bit slow at times, but still very reliable. Samsung eventually ditched the iris scanner from the 2019 Galaxy S10 series, opting instead for in-display fingerprint unlock.
However, iris scanning makes sense for the Apple Vision Pro as it should be a seamless unlocking experience for the headset compared to fingerprint unlocking. And we imagine face unlock wouldn’t be possible because parts of your face would be blocked by the headset itself.