New Samsung Gear VR patent unlocks Galaxy smartphones by head recognition

Deidre Richardson
Jun 22, 2017

Samsung is always experimenting with new ways to push the boundaries in tech, and the Korean giant kicks over enough rocks to find them. Some of Samsung's best ideas have come by thinking outside the norm, but today's patent refers to a common problem facing (literally) Gear VR users when using Samsung's VR headset.

Have you ever placed your phone inside Gear VR, only to be told by a voice to "unlock it" before proceeding? It happened to me last week. There I was, ready to use my Galaxy S8, when I was told to unlock it. I had to disable my iris scanner in order to use Gear VR without the holdup. You may have found yourself in the same boat, but Samsung is on the case to do something about it.

A new patent idea published in South Korea is calling for "head recognition" as a means of unlocking Gear VR such that users need not unlock their device manually to proceed with the VR experience. Samsung would achieve this head recognition by sensors on the Gear VR headset in the facial mask area that would register the facial features of the individual as well as the individual's head and then process it accordingly. Think of this head recognition as iris recognition and facial recognition put together as one.

While Samsung is working on this solution for Gear VR, it's likely the case that Samsung could also bring an iris/facial recognition combo to the next Galaxy (the Galaxy Note 8) for general smartphone unlocking. The results of this patent could be seen as early as this Fall.



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