There has a been a lot of heat in the past few weeks about the Samsung Galaxy S IV’s hardware? Will it run the latest version of Android? Will it have a 13 mega pixel camera? How big will the screen be?
However there’s an intriguing article in the New York Times today that suggests that the new handset’s killer feature might actually be software-based rather than hardware.
It cites a person who has apparently tried the phone, raving about a new feature called Eye Scrolling.
As the NYT says
The phone will track a user’s eyes to determine where to scroll.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.
Wooah, read that again. So the phone will be intelligent enough to work out when you have finished reading a page and skip to the next. No more constantly swiping pages on ebooks, or having to push the screen up to read new paragraphs on web pages.
It sounds like one of the most significant breakthroughs in mobile phone technology for a long time.
But how will it work and what technology will it use? The NYT’s source is keeping schtum.
There is some evidence to back up the paper’s claims. Samsung has filed for trademarks for the name ‘Eye Scroll’ in both the US and Europe. The US patent says it is a
“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 company’s current phone, the Galaxy S III, has a feature, Smart Stay, that uses its front-facing camera to know to keep the screen lit up when a person is looking at it instead of dimming it automatically.
But will Eye Scrolling kick in automatically, or will you have to fire it up? What if you constantly move your eyes around – how will it respond? What will the impact be on battery life?
Also if Eye Scroll is used on the phone I think once again it might mean that Samsung push for a larger screen – possibly five inches, maybe more, to make the most of the technology and underline how the device is ideal for web browsing or reading.
If it does arrive it will also be fascinating to see how Apple will respond. If Eye Scrolling works and is successful how long before it appears on rival handsets?
I can’t wait for next week to find out.