Samsung and LG at odds over eye-tracking technology patents
Samsung may consider Apple to be its biggest rival in the global smartphone wars, but the company has completely dominated the Android scene over the past few years and other Android OEMs have taken the fight to Samsung, in more ways than one. HTC decided to show off its flagship HTC One right outside where the Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched, and LG parodied the Galaxy S4 pre-launch teaser by using a similar ad for the Optimus G Pro.
While these advertising strategies may be all “fun and games,” things are a lot more serious on the home front, where LG is considering a potential patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung over the use of eye-tracking technology, according to Yonhap. Both companies employ this technology in their latest flagship offerings, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG Optimus G Pro, but LG claims that the company had applied for this patent in August 2009.
The feature, called “Smart Pause” by Samsung and “Smart Video” by LG, works very similarly on both devices and pauses a video when the user looks away, and plays the video again when the user looks at the device. Both companies have advertised this eye-tracking technology as an important feature for their latest high-end offerings.
An LG official has said that the company will be reviewing possible patent infringements when the Samsung Galaxy S4 is made available. Of course, Samsung has replied by denying any such patent infringement, and is claiming to own the original technology, and also using different methods to apply this feature.
It’ll be interesting to see if such a lawsuit goes ahead and whether there is any truth to LG’s claim, or whether the two companies will be able to work things out as they did in the past regarding a clash over their respective display technologies.