Samsung amazed its customers last year with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S3. One of the new features introduced with the S3 was “Smart Stay”. If Smart Stay is on, the phone will know whether to shut the screen off or not based on your eyes being open or closed. While Smart Stay is a handy feature, Samsung isn’t stopping there.
A newly filed trademark confirms that Samsung is working on new features called “Eye Pause” and “Eye Scroll.” There is no official confirmation as to what these features will do. Presumably, Eye Pause will pause a video when you look away from the screen. This would be easy for Samsung to bring in as a feature. Most of the technology is already there with Smart Stay.
Eye Scroll is difficult to interpret. It could mean a bunch of different things. The most obvious of these things is that it will allow you to scroll through websites or apps by looking at the bottom of the page. It would also be assumed that it would have more functionality than just looking at the bottom of the page. For instance, looking to the right of the page would allow you to scroll right.
“When will we see this technology in our smartphones?” will be a popular question. That is still up in the air. As SamMobile reports, we see a new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI every year. Smart Stay was introduced with the Galaxy S3. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched idea to assume that these features would launch with the Galaxy S4 this year or even the Note 3 later in the year.
Eye tracking technology has been under development for years now. While we’ve seen a lot of prototypes of these developments, we have not seen much of anything that is reliable. A lot of this technology will no doubt be ready for consumers hands in one to three years though.
Solid evidence of this lies with the Tobii Rex, which was showcased at CES this year. The Tobii Rex provides some of the most accurate eye tracking technology to navigate around Windows 8. It is not perfect. But it does give a good idea of what we will be seeing in the next few years though.
Just like touch screens, it’s only a matter of time before eye tracking becomes fully integrated into our lives. Samsung’s move to add Eye Scroll and Eye Pause into their devices is no surprise. It will definitely be an awesome feature to take advantage of though.
Love it or hate it, this is where technology is headed. What do you think of having eye tracking technology in your smartphone? Would you use it if it were available to you?