Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris First Impressions
Samsung India on Wednesday unveiled the Galaxy Tab Iris in India. The
new tablet from Samsung is another “Make for India” product though this
is targeted at the enterprise segment as well as the government. The
biggest highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris is its iris recognition
It is the first device from Samsung featuring an iris
scanner, which is included to support biometric authentication for
services such as Aadhar, or Unique Identification Authority of India
At the launch event, Samsung stressed that
the new tablet will offer cashless and paperless services to various
sectors including banking and e-governance. Interestingly, the tablet
won’t be available in retail for consumers to buy.
On being asked
how the inbuilt biometric technology on the Galaxy Tab Iris will be an
advantage to enterprise and government sectors, Sukesh Jain, Vice
President, Samsung India, explained to Gadgets 360 that the Galaxy Tab
Iris can enable a sector to streamline the process of authentication for
various services such as banking, and also the process of government
service enrolment for passport applications, taxation, and education.
about some usage scenarios, Jain added that the Galaxy Tab Iris
eliminates the need for paperwork and can be used for citizen services
such as government schemes such as pension disbursement; opening bank
accounts and processing loans; insurance subscriptions and claim
settlements; user ID verification, for telecom services, and more.
with iris recognition, Samsung has made the Galaxy Tab Iris
Aadhar-compliant and STQC-certified which means it can be used for UIDAI
authentication right away.
At the event, we got a chance to test
the tablet’s iris recognition for UIDAI authentication. The unit we used
came preloaded with the Samsung Iris Aadhar app which requires the
unique identification number linked to user’s Aadhar cards to
authenticate them. The app launched quickly, and after entering a
12-digit unique identification number, it performed an iris scan to
authenticate the Aadhar card. The app took some time to scan our iris,
but the overall process was easy. A Samsung representative at the event
told us that the company may support different features leveraging iris
recognition technology as well. Samsung will also offer software
developer kits (SDKs) to its clients to develop Aadhar-compliant apps
which will allow users to authenticate themselves with the iris scanner.
Galaxy Tab Iris tablet supports Samsung’s Knox security features and
also comes with Secure Boot, which the representative explained will
protect the tablet from unauthorised rooting attacks. The 3G-enabled
tablet also supports 14 Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil,
Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Sinhala,
Assamese, Nepali, Telugu, Odia, and Urdu.
Talking further about
the iris scanner on the Galaxy Tab Iris, Jain stated that the device can
carry out the e-KYC process out in seconds, instead of days as it
usually takes. e-KYC is the process that allows companies to complete
the regular KYC (Know Your Customer) process online with the direct
authorisation of users.
When asked why Samsung chose to support
Aadhar authentication, Jain explained that it serves as an important
database for many government-related projects such as DigiLocker,
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), National Health Mission (NHM),
and other Digital India initiatives.
Coming to the more ordinary
features of the Galaxy Tab Iris, the tablet follows the regular Samsung
Tab range design language, and there’s nothing new or exciting about its
looks. The front of the tablet is dominated by its 7-inch WSVGA
(1024×600) display and there is no front camera. There is a physical
home button placed between two capacitive navigation buttons. The rear
packs the primary 5-megapixel camera and sports a leather-like texture.
The iris-scanner has been placed at the back and is located in left
corner of the device. The volume and power buttons are on the right,
while the left houses the microSD card and SIM slots.
grams, the tablet feels slightly heavy but it’s not designed for daily
personal usage, so that isn’t a dealbreaker. Under the hood, the tablet
is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. There is
8GB of storage which is expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB). For
connectivity, the tablet supports 3G, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,
Bluetooth 4.1, and USB OTG. Measuring 193.4×116.4×9.7mm, it packs in a
Considering that the Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris is
targeted at the enterprise and government sectors, it is hard to say
whether it has competition of any sort. But the iris scanning technology
definitely adds an extra layer of security to the overall
authentication process that is required for all kinds of schemes from
the government and even the private sector. The iris scanner could be a
great addition to consumer mobile devices if Samsung decides to go down
that path. The tablet has been priced at Rs. 13,499 but that is hardly
relevant as enterprise and government buyers will most likely be buying
it in bulk.
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