Now that Android has matured to the point of being solid in its own right, manufacturer skins don't rely so much on fixing the problems with the OS as they do creating their own platform. In order to differentiate from the competition, the new Galaxy S needs to do things the One series doesn't. While HTC focuses on improving its audio and visual performance, Samsung is attempting to boost its wow factor by improving on its eye-tracking technology. At least, if the rumors are true.

Speaking to a New York Times blog, an anonymous source (allegedly a Samsung employee) told the publication that the new Galaxy S IV would include a feature that will track a user's eyes to determine when they've reached the bottom of a page and automatically scroll to reveal more text. Samsung has previously applied for trademarks on the phrase "Eye Scroll," so it's not outside the realm of possibility.

The move would also cement Samsung's identity as the manufacturer pursuing clever and novel features for its primary lineup. At this point, no one can doubt Samsung's supremacy in the Android space, but in order to maintain that lineup, the company has to avoid stagnation, or at least the appearance thereof. HTC is placing its chips on high-quality materials, picture, video, and audio. Motorola, at least in its post-Google state, is reportedly aiming for better battery life, durability and that Google-y "wow" factor, however that manifests itself.

The question is, as the non-Samsung manufacturers prepare their warheads to take on the Galaxy Behemoth, will novel features like this be enough to keep Samsung distinct and maintain the public's affection?

Source: Bits

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • cybernet2u

    1st of all it will be just an option, cause it will have a lot of bugs ...

    and trust me ... the last thing you wanna do is to enable this option

    it will save a snapshot of your face while you wank over thumblr photo ...

    so .... NO

    • John O’Connor

      haha... is there some sort of Wankr spy snapchat-esque app out there catching you in compromising positions? There must certainly be an "OH-droid" app for voyeurs, stalkers and other fetishists if I am to take this seriously. I'm sure most people have learned how to use incognito mode in their browsers at this point. HA

  • Tanmay

    HTC is improving the hardware quality..
    & Samsung is improving (kinda) the software or adding new features..
    I think features like "eye scroll" can be ported to other devices but hardware quality is other thing!

    • utopianh

      Except Samsung's internals quality is very high. HTC had to update their one X with a refresh, and the One X+ still wasn't up to snuff with the GS3. Besides, people talk about samsung plastic crap but really, who gives a crap about it if they both last until you replace it? Usually it's the internals that control when you have to update your phone.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Usually lack of support and a desire to get a new toy to compete with your friends are the things that drive people to get a new smartphone. Even my single-core Inspire (Desire HD) with 768 MB of RAM runs Jellybean and most apps pretty smoothly, but HTC and CyanogenMod abandoned it at Gingerbread and there are dwindling numbers of people trying to keep it up to date with ICS/JB/+.

  • Kokusho

    yeah Another useless feature added to touchwizz ! Hourray !

    • nejai

      in fact, SmartStay is a useful feature, I used all the time

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        I only wish it worked on landscape mode =( But otherwise it's very good ^^

        • John O’Connor

          It seems to work for me in landscape mode, although one of their "smart" features that needs to be improved upon is "smart rotation" it should be able to detect the orientation of my eyes so that the screen does not autorotate if i happen to be in less than an optimal upright position.

    • Kenny O

      Not necessarily, I think this will be very useful for those times I have no hands.....oh wait....never mind.

      • John O’Connor

        all jokes aside, many devices can be used completely hands free with the proper software, or at least that is where the accessibility market is trying to enhance the OS for those with actual disabilities

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      On my Galaxy S3, I have all motion and smart stay features disabled, never really liked them.

  • Owen Finn

    Doncha know that Apple has already patented iScroll?

    • John O’Connor

      Has anyone patented iDontCare yet? /S I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not, but there is an actual "iScroll" out there that was incorporated into webkit based browsers (not limited to iDevices) and certainly not the same thing as sEYE or whatever the hell Samsung is eventually going to call their enhanced tracker

  • Davy Jones

    This doesn't make sense to me. I am sure I am not alone in that my eyes are not always perfectly aligned with what I am looking at on a page. What happens picture lower down or to the side grabs my interest? Do I have to keep scrolling back into position? For the matter, how do my eyes know what to focus on? I start looking down and then the text moves up so my eyes shoot up and then it scrolls too much in the other direction?

    I am not saying that this technology is impossible to get right, I really don't know. What I do know is that even Google has trouble getting things like voice dictation to work perfectly all of the time. Samsung's software has never impressed half as much as Google's so I remain very skeptical that this would work as well as it needs to. That is, if this is what they actually plan to implement.

  • TrueFarm

    Will it enlarge boobies if it knows I stare at them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeadPlasmaCell Dan Garcia

    I say go for it. Will I use it?? Probably not, but I like that Sammy is pushing new things and ideas out.

  • PINJ

    I Even Knew About That -_-. Its NOT A Rumor But FACT.

  • alexxx

    Another gimmicky move, useless feature requiring processing power and battery, what if I wanna scan a pic on the bottom of my screen then read from top, it would scroll down - I mean, Samsung's got a taste for blood($$$) now, and they are loosing objectivity, it always happens. Samsung is not and never will be HTC. Design is crucial for me, it speaks to me and to others. Lastly, I DON'T WANT MY PHONE MONITORING MY EYES, its freaky enough with nosey Google and front-facing cameras!

    • Jeramy Eggers

      So you are saying The Rezound, and Thunderbolt were great designs? As far as gimmicks go, Beats takes the cake.

      • alexxx

        I'm so tired if saying this, beats is fantastic, I know what sounds good and bests make any of my cheap headphones sound twice as good

  • Haedocynic

    The problem is that this will only be useful if it works correctly > 99 % of the time. Otherwise people will prefer simply swiping, which is quite convenient as well. I don't see it happening, especially since most phones can't even recognise eyes well in bad lighting—and then you lose your 99 % reliability. People don't want to have to consider whether it will be light enough before scrolling one way or the other: it has to work without your having to consciously think about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boe.dillard Boe Dillard

    That's great - ALL I care about is will it have better reception than the last Verizon S3 - that phone blows chunks. It is a fantastic PDA with a dreadful phone integrated.

  • Napster87

    as a person who spends way too much time on Reddit, this feature will come in handy.

  • mauric

    If Samsung only comes with a proper styled Holo UI it's already phone of the year in my eyes. I don't care if they give it their blueish human colors, but please burn the gingerbread . The additions like smart stay are one reason I stick with a themed i9300 rom instead of cyanogenmod. So I think they are going the right way with adding more!

    • Jon Garrett

      I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people bitch and moan about Samsung not using stock Android. I came from iOS in Nov 2011 and Ive used Samsung and LG and I have nothing but praise for Samsung and Touchwiz.

      • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

        people will always bitch and moan about something they don't have.

  • John O’Connor

    They will continue to have a great following, although, if they were to suddenly dump Android and go with their own Tizen, I don't believe many hardcore U.S. android fans would continue to purchase Samsung devices. Of course, they would lose out on the benefits of the OHA as well, but time will tell.

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    I gotta say that Samsung really does know how to sell phones -- it's difficult to sell features like "UltraPixel" to the average Joe. But, "the phone knows you want to scroll"? You can explain it in one second.

  • prem deep

    Smart scroll n smart pause menu is available in sgs3 leak rom... currently it's not working. .

    • Sootie

      I think that was that crappy old feature that was enabled by default in old touchwiz where you could hold 2 fingers on the screen an tilt it to scroll

      • prem deep

        Its not 'tilt to zoom'..please Check the pics again..

    • ssj4Gogeta

      So it seems it just scrolls at a constant speed.

  • Mike

    I'm having an extremely difficult time waiting for this Google/Motorola "X Phone." If its what I'm looking for, I really hope Google somehow brings it to Sprint.

  • Dave BG

    Great innovation. I hope they patented it!