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Tablets

Samsung's new tablet scans your irises

Rolling out in India, the Galaxy Tab Iris targets government and big businesses that seek to move away from traditional authentication techniques.

"Here's looking at you, kid."

Samsung's new tablet can tell who you are by looking you right in the eyes.

Dubbed the Galaxy Tab Iris, the new tablet is hitting the Indian market, Samsung said in a blog post Wednesday. The tablet will use a built-in dual-eye scanner to authenticate people via their irises and is aimed at financial institutions and other organizations that seek a better way to confirm the identity of their users.

As a means of authentication, passwords have fallen from grace. People have a difficult time remembering them, and passwords have proven to be less than fail-safe. Their deficiencies have led the way for biometric techniques, which are easier and quicker because they simply read parts of the body, such as fingerprints, eyes and faces. Many PC, tablet and smartphone makers already incorporate fingerprint scanners. Microsoft has adopted iris and fingerprint scanning in Windows 10. But biometric technology is still in its infancy and will take years to become widespread.

Samsung sees the Tab Iris playing a role in such areas as banking, taxation, health care and education. People can sign up for and authenticate accounts at banks and other institutions using iris recognition "regardless of language and literacy barriers." The tablet will be Aadhar-compliant, which means it will team up with a program in India that assigns individuals a unique 12-digit number as a way of identifying them for access to certain services.

"The Galaxy Tab Iris addresses consumer pain points across platforms such as banking, finance, education and various citizen services by bringing enhanced usability, versatility and reliability all through one device," Samsung India Electronics Vice President Sukesh Jain said in a statement.

Beyond creating the device, Samsung is also releasing a software development kit so developers can build applications to take advantage of the tablet's iris recognition.

On the spec side, the Iris sports a 7-inch 1,024x600 pixel screen, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 gigahertz quad core processor. Offering 3G connectivity, the tablet comes with 1.5 gigabytes of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, which can be bumped up to 200GB via a microSD card. The Iris is flavored with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Tab Iris is priced at 13,499 in Indian rupees, or about $200. Samsung didn't reveal when or if the Iris might land in other countries.