Samsung Galaxy S IV rumored to control content via eye movement
Samsung Electronics' next flagship Android smartphone will introduce new software that tracks the movement of the user's eyes to scroll text and digital content, The New York Times reports.
According to a Samsung employee speaking on the condition of anonymity, the forthcoming Galaxy S IV will feature so-called "eye scrolling" technology that responds to eye movement to enable hands-free device interaction--for example, when users reading news articles reach the bottom of a page, the smartphone will automatically scroll down to reveal the next few paragraphs of text. The software could also benefit mobile gaming experiences, leveraging eye movements to improve first-person shooters, flight simulators and other genres.
Samsung has filed to trademark the eye-scrolling software in the U.S. and in Europe. The U.S. filing describes the technology as "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." Samsung has also filed to trademark a feature called "Eye Pause," but the company did not supply a description.
Samsung is expected to introduce the Galaxy S IV at a New York City media event on March 14. The New York Times source said the software baked into the smartphone will dramatically outweigh the importance of the device hardware; Kevin Packingham, Samsung's chief product officer, declined to share details about the smartphone but disagreed the software will eclipse any hardware advances, stating "It's an amazing phone."
Samsung has already made inroads into eye tracking systems: Its current Android flagship, the Galaxy S III, integrates Smart Stay, which uses the phone's front-facing camera to keep the screen illuminated when the consumer is looking at instead of dimming it automatically.
Samsung leads both worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales, according to research firm Gartner. The vendor sold 384.6 million phones last year, with smartphones accounting for 53.5 percent of that total, and ended 2012 controlling 22 percent of worldwide mobile sales, ahead of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) at 19.1 percent and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) at 7.5 percent. Samsung's closest Android rival, ZTE, follows at 3.9 percent.
- read this New York Times article
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