Mar 072013

Samsung’s new phone, Galaxy Note 4, will track users’ eyes to perform key tasks like scrolling through Web pages, according to a new report.

It is said that the eye-tracking software will be built into the new smartphone, which Samsung plans to announce in New York on March 14. The New York Times, citing a person who has used the phone, says it uses unspecified technology to monitor users’ eyes and translate that motion into action: “For example, when users read articles and their eyes reach the bottom of the page, the software will automatically scroll down to reveal the next paragraphs of text.”


Samsung filed for a trademark in the United States on both “Samsung Eye Scroll” and “Eye Pause,” reports the Times. By releasing Galaxy S4 with Eye Scroll, Samsung is enhancing the Smart Stay feature seen on the Galaxy S3 for the release of the Galaxy S4. Those who are unfamiliar with the Galaxy S3’s feature must know that Smart Stay uses the forward-facing webcam to watch you while you’re using the phone, and then stops the screen from dimming and going to sleep on condition that it sees you looking at the screen. It works surprisingly well, and is helpful for reading any wall of text, whether it’s a long email, online article, or eBook.

Eye scrolling is a natural progression of this, as the camera will not only ensure the screen stays alive, but also keep an eye (sorry) on the position of your pupils as you read. The Times noted a Samsung filed a patent for a similar feature named Eye Scroll earlier this year, which senses eye movements and scrolls the display accordingly. Eye tracking technology has been hanging around the fringes of both the e-reading and computing scenes for a while, but mainly in concept form. Take a look at Text 2.0, a project from a German research team utilizing Tobii Technology’s eye tracker system to great effect back in 2010, to get an idea of where it could go in the future.

Samsung Galaxy S3 is a terrible and beautiful smart phone, with which Samsung introduced a variety of interesting software features, using them to differentiate the new phone from the competition instead of concentrating on the technical specifications. It’s likely to do the same with the Galaxy S4, with the Times’ source saying, “The new software features of the new phone outweigh the importance of the hardware.”

The Galaxy S4 should continue the trend. Samsung is determined to outclass its competitors and own the wireless handset market, and we have every reason to believe that the GS4 will impress. No, its competitors won’t simply lie in the road to be trampled, but Sammy has an important card to play. Like Apple, it has more than enough money to promote, advertise, and distribute its shiny device to the ends of the earth. That alone will carry the Galaxy GS4 far.
Though Samsung hasn’t confirmed all the reports of Samsung Galaxy S4, we could find out this time next week – March 14, the day Samsung Galaxy S4 is to be released. Till then we would be able to know more information about the Eye Scroll.

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