Galaxy S4 features face tracking technology from DigitalOptics

April 23, 2013
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According to a new press release, Samsung has signed a multi-year licensing deal with DigitalOptics for its face tracking/detection software, which is apparently found onboard the Galaxy S4. Based out of California, DigitalOptics “designs and manufactures innovative imaging systems for smartphones”.

Called “FaceTools”, here is what the software suite has to offer:

With FaceTools, end users can automatically identify individuals, capture fast moving objects, use enhanced user interfaces via real-time tracking of pupils, and take flawless pictures even under sub-optimum light or color balance conditions.

With a multi-year licensing deal, Samsung could bring the software to upcoming devices. As far as which devices, we’ll just have to wait and see. Samsung has really improved its software offering in the Galaxy S4, offering Smart Scroll and Smart Pause, which utilize eye tracking technology. Smart Scroll uses your eye movement to scroll up or down a page, while Smart Pause automatically pauses a video if you look away (image above). The features can be seen in the video below from our Galaxy S4 review.

Last month, Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported LG may take Samsung to court for patent infringement over its eye tracking patents. Once the Galaxy S4 is released, LG says it will take a closer look at possible patent infringement. Samsung completely denies any infringement, and claims to implement the technology in a different way.

In a recent update, the Optimus G Pro received Smart Video. Similar to Smart Pause on the Galaxy S4, it too automatically pauses a video when a user looks away.

Show Press Release

Samsung Licenses DigitalOptics Face Detection and Tracking Software

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DigitalOptics Corporation (DOC™), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA) announced today that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has signed a multi-year license for DOC’s Face Detection and Face Tracking software. This software will be used in Samsung Galaxy S® 4 smartphones.

DOC’s Face Detection and Face Tracking software is part of DOC’s FaceTools™ suite, which also includes Accurate Eye Tracking and Face Recognition, Smile and Blink Detection, among others. With FaceTools, end users can automatically identify individuals, capture fast moving objects, use enhanced user interfaces via real-time tracking of pupils, and take flawless pictures even under sub-optimum light or color balance conditions. This software is compatible with all application processors and can be optimized for power consumption and increased performance via custom hardware blocks, such as the DOC advanced hardware image processing (AHIP) embedded in Fujitsu’s discrete image signal processors (ISPs).

The DOC’s FaceTools suite is also a key capability in its innovative microelectromechnical (MEMS) mems|cam™ mobile camera module recently launched in February at Mobile World Congress. By combining FaceTools along with an extensive portfolio of market leading camera technologies, DOC will enable compelling new imaging features only available in mems|cam mobile camera modules for smartphone cameras.

“Our position as the technology and market leader in imaging software is a unique asset that enables DOC to develop highly differentiated mobile camera modules,” said John Thode, president of DOC. “By combining our MEMS technology with our real-time custom hardware blocks and application software we believe we have all of the capabilities to bring exceptional professional quality still and video imaging and applications to mobile devices.”

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