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Samsung Galaxy S4 to feature eye-tracking technology

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March 4, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy S IV will reportedly let customers scroll through text using only their...

The Samsung Galaxy S IV will reportedly let customers scroll through text using only their eyes (eye image: Shutterstock)

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We know that Samsung is going to announce its new flagship, the Galaxy S IV, on March 14 in New York City. We know less about the phone itself. Today, though, we have one more piece of that puzzle, with a new report that the phone will feature eye-tracking technology.

According to the New York Times, the Galaxy S IV will feature software that tracks your eye movement. The technology will be primarily integrated with reading: finish with a page of text, and the phone will automatically scroll to the next page.

The report doesn’t go into much more detail, or explain the specific tech behind the eye-tracking feature. But it's likely nothing more than eye recognition software that uses the phone's front-facing camera. Samsung did recently file for “Samsung Eye Scroll” trademarks in Europe and the U.S. The filings described the feature:

    Computer application software having a feature of sensing eye movements and scrolling displays of mobile devices, namely, mobile phones, smartphones and tablet computers according to eye movements; digital cameras; mobile telephones; smartphones; tablet computers.

The source reportedly described the phone’s software features as outweighing the importance of its hardware. In response, Samsung’s Chief Product Officer, Kevin Packingham, disagreed with that assessment, calling the Galaxy S IV “an amazing phone" (no surprise that he feels that way).

Innovative or gimmick?

The Galaxy S4 is also rumored to have a larger display (altered Galaxy S3 pictured)

Even as it rose to mobile dominance, Samsung gained a reputation as an Apple copycat. The company, then, would love nothing more than to create its own breakthrough features, earning a new reputation as an innovator in its own right.

It isn’t clear whether eye-scrolling will prove to be innovative, but it has some promising ingredients. It’s new, and – to our knowledge – hasn't been implemented before. Though touching your screen to scroll a page is hardly a chore, the hands-free feature could potentially seem “magical” enough to capture customers’ imaginations.

Stay tuned for more Galaxy S IV coverage, leading up to the device’s March 14 launch event.

Source: New York Times

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
5 Comments

........interesting feature..........

I'll likely buy this phone, I'm hoping when they announce it, they say the release date is the next day! :)

Derek Howe
4th March, 2013 @ 04:45 pm PST

I have an aging Galaxy S 1 that will most likely be replaced with one of these this year.

Terry Penrose
4th March, 2013 @ 06:06 pm PST

Fine, as long as I can turn it off. Just cause I read to the end of a page does not mean I'm done looking at the page. Sounds as frustrating as trying to rearrange the formatting on an Office document. Getting my phone to do things I didn't intend to initiate isn't real high on my list of things I need from my phone.

Jeff Vandervort
5th March, 2013 @ 08:19 am PST

I won't upgrade if this is it's greatest new feature. I agree with Jeff that I'm not always finished with a page once I get to the end of it.

Terrence
5th March, 2013 @ 09:36 am PST

Yet another useless feature that's gonna drain my battery like crazy. No, thanks!!!

RameshIndian
7th March, 2013 @ 01:00 am PST
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