Taking a step that is sure to give impetus to the government’s digital India program, Samsung has announced the launch of a Galaxy Tab Iris device in India with iris-recognition technology that will enable easy Aadhaar authentication through an integrated and secure biometric device.
The device has been aimed towards governments and enterprises and will go a long way towards facilitating processes that require identity verification.
The tablet has been designed by the company’s R&D labs in Bangalore over a period of 18 months and is Aadhar-compliant and STQC-certified. The fact that Samsung has chosen to integrate the technology in a tablet means that consumers will be saved from the hassles of using separate devices for biometric identification processes, and while it may not sound like much at the moment, the host of benefits is pretty huge.
Speaking on the topic, Dr. Aloknath De, Corporate Vice President & CTO, Samsung India R&D said,
We’re excited to offer biometric-based services to the billion plus people enrolled in Aadhaar. Our India R&D team has made significant investments in biometric technology research and we built this product leveraging our knowledge in hardware design, biometrics and security for a high speed scan, greater accuracy and high reliability.
The company is complementing the device with an Identity SDK that will let application developers build financial inclusion, payments and authentication solutions that will make use of iris’s enhanced capabilities.
This will encourage our start-up ecosystem to rapidly build relevant apps and services. We strongly believe this overall offering will in turn strengthen government programs such as Jan-Dhan Yojana and E-Citizen services under the Digital India initiative.
Speaking on the topic, Mr. Sukesh Jain, Vice President, Samsung India Electronics, said,
This is another example of Samsung’s pursuit for meaningful innovations. We see great potential for the iris–technology solution to be used as a means of directly facilitating greater inclusion in the Digital India programme. The biometric authentication can also act as an enabler in facilitating integration of financial services with the ‘Aadhaar’ initiative.
Adding that the Galaxy Tab Iris will be able to address consumer pain points across various diverse platforms such as banking, finance and education. While taking the Tab through its paces at the launch, Mr. Jain also showed how the tablet could pull up his Aadhar details in seconds — simply by scanning his eyes.
While we expect the range of services available through the Tab Iris to only grow with time, at present stuff like E-PDS (Electronic Public Distribution system), MNREGA payments, pension schemes and various subsidy programmes and entitlements distribution can be done through the Tab with ready identity verification. Services such as income tax filing, passport issuance/renewal, car registration, property registration, railway/airport passenger verification can also be made paperless with the use of the Adhaar based Iris technology.
The tablet can also be used for child enrolment programs where the biometrics of the parent can be used to authenticate children for Aadhaar enrolment programs.
In case you are wondering, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris is able to provide users with the remote access facility by embedding the tab with Aadhaar’s iris–biometric authentication capabilities. So basically, the same authentication that needed to be done manually can now be done online –from the comforts of your very own couch. To put things in perspective, the E-KYC can be carried out in seconds whereas the traditional KYC can take anywhere from 2 to 7 days. And since it uses Iris authentication — Yes, the name is not a co-incidence — there is no question of forgeries.
The device will be priced at INR 13,499 and even without the iris scanners, it offers great value for money. Along with dual eye scanners, you also get a vivid 7.0-inch display along with a 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera for clicking pictures and scanning documents. The tab supports a total of 14 local languages and is backed by a 3600mAh battery and incidentally, is the first commercial device that is backed by the government’s ambitious Aadhar scheme.
Understandably, an easy to use authentication system will go a long way towards promoting access to financial inclusion benefits. Often, a large section of the eligible population is unable to receive benefits simply because it is unable to validate its identity due to illiteracy or a host of other reasons. With a biometric solution capable of reaching across the barriers of language and literacy barriers though, things will hopefully take a turn for the better.
For Samsung, this marks a one of its kind device that will no doubt be looked at by many as the one stop solution for all processes requiring authentication — particularly those associated with the government and government run services and amenities. The company now has to focus upon its marketing stratagem to ensure that people can actually comprehend the benefits they would be incurring by purchasing the tablet.