Oh, LG. Sometimes I really do wonder if you come up with the good ideas first, or if it really is like everyone else sort of thinks it is. Korea's #2 smartphone producer just sent out a press release announcing LG Smart Video, a new feature in the Optimus G Pro. So, if you've heard about the Smart Pause feature that was recently discovered in some screenshots from a Galaxy S III Android 4.2 ROM, it's that. Literally, exactly that.

The feature is pretty simple in concept - if you're playing a video on your phone (unknown if it supports 3rd party video players), the front-facing camera tracks your eyes. If your eyes stray significantly away from the screen, the video pauses. Samsung's Smart Pause feature is described in terms of your head moving, but it too likely uses your eyes as the reference point for movement. It's not clear if either solution goes so far as to track your pupils (eg, if you glance up), but I'm guessing the answer there is "probably not." That'd have to be one high-res front camera. Probably with a zoom lens.

Either way, it's a bit funny that LG's announced this on the eve of Samsung's Galaxy S IV event. We don't know for certain that the Smart Pause feature will make it into the Galaxy S IV (it sounds like Smart Scrolling won't), but it seems like a pretty reasonably easy feature to implement given Smart Stay already exists.

LG also took the chance to announce a larger Value Pack (*cough* Premium Suite *cough*) software upgrade for the Optimus G Pro:

Other features in the Value Pack upgrade include:
• Magic Remote Pad and Text Keypad via the QRemote function. These new options for QRemote work specifically with LG
Smart TVs to enhance convenience when using Optimus G Pro as a remote control for LG Smart TVs.
• The Smart LED Lighting outlining the home button of the Optimus G Pro will be upgraded so users can customize the colors
to correspond to their favorite contacts. The flashing of the LED in different colors will allow users to identify the source of
incoming calls, missed calls, unread messages and emails.
• Video Pause/Resume allows the user to stop and start in record mode for one continuous video file.
• The first Color Emoticons in an Android smartphone for more personalized text messages.

LG has said some of these features will be available for other phones in the future, and that the Korean Optimus G Pro should see the update in April.

EYE RECOGNITION TO BRING NEW LEVEL OF ENTERTAINMENT CONVENIENCE TO LG SMARTPHONE
Technology to Debut in Smart Video Feature in Optimus G Pro

SEOUL, Mar. 14, 2013 — Smart Video, a new multimedia UX feature from LG Electronics (LG), will be unveiled for the first time in the Optimus G Pro. Smart Video takes viewing videos on mobile devices to a whole new level of convenience with eye recognition that eliminates the need to manually control playback during the viewing experience.

Through the implementation of advanced eye recognition technology, Smart Video recognizes the position of the viewer’s eyes and automatically plays or stops the video without any manual input from the user. When the viewer’s eyes are no longer focused on the smartphone display, the front camera recognizes this and immediately pauses the video automatically. Once the user’s gaze returns to the smartphone, the video resumes playback from the point last viewed.

In addition to the Smart Video feature, Optimus G Pro will also be equipped with the world’s first Dual Camera function. The Dual Camera feature is an extension of the Dual Recording feature which debuted on the Optimus G Pro introduced in the Korean market last month. Dual Camera simultaneously captures photographs using both the front and back cameras for a picture-in-picture composition. Users can now be a part of the story, not just observers.

“LG is continuously innovating to offer creative ways to offer a user experience that adds value to our customers,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Elec-tronics Mobile Communications Company. “It’s the positive UX that will differentiate smartphones in 2013 and beyond, not only cutting-edge hardware specs.”

The Smart Video and Dual Camera features will be introduced as a part of the Value Pack upgrade which will be offered for the Optimus G Pro in the Korean market next month. These features will also be made available for some LG premium smartphones in the future.

Other features in the Value Pack upgrade include:

• Magic Remote Pad and Text Keypad via the QRemote function. These new options for QRemote work specifically with LG
Smart TVs to enhance convenience when using Optimus G Pro as a remote control for LG Smart TVs.

• The Smart LED Lighting outlining the home button of the Optimus G Pro will be upgraded so users can customize the colors
to correspond to their favorite contacts. The flashing of the LED in different colors will allow users to identify the source of
incoming calls, missed calls, unread messages and emails.

• Video Pause/Resume allows the user to stop and start in record mode for one continuous video file.

• The first Color Emoticons in an Android smartphone for more personalized text messages.