March 8, 2013
Is Smart Scroll To the Galaxy S IV What Siri Was To The iPhone 4S?
Samsung’s newest Galaxy will be announced next week on March 14, and if New York Times writer Brian X Chen has anything to say about it, the new “S” will stand for Software.
Specifically, software that tracks your eyeballs and moves the screen for you without the need to manually scroll like some sort of Neanderthal.
A new report recently from Sammobile.com claims to have found screenshots that show Smart Scroll settings. The site also “confirms” this feature will make it to the new Galaxy.
Samsung’s S III is already accustomed to staring at your eyeballs, of course. The Smart Stay feature uses a similar technology to know if you’re giving it your full, ocular attention. Otherwise, it dims the screen in protest.
Chen points out that Samsung has already filed for the “Samsung Eye Scroll” trademark in the States. This technology is described, in part, as a “Computer application software having a feature of sensing eye movements and scrolling displays of mobile devices…”
They’ve also filed for the trademark for “Eye Pause,” though there’s no information about what Eye Pause does, other than sound a lot like “iPod.”
It’s not yet clear where Sammy is getting this technology, though they could license a similar technology from Danish company Eye Tribe.
Last October, Eye Tribe announced an eye-tracking infrared camera which they claim can be easily installed to existing smartphones and tablets or even be built right in.
There is something interesting about Chen’s story that he references only twice and mostly glosses over.
According to both the unnamed Samsung employee and Kevin Packingham, Samsung’s chief product officer, the new Galaxy will feature more software advancements than hardware improvements.
The eye tracking software, which is very cool and futuristic in its own rite, seems to be something of a red herring.
Packingham even dismissed the hardware, saying it would be insignificant compared to the new software.
Could Samsung be taking yet another page from Apple’s tried and tested playbook, releasing incremental updates on a tick-tock schedule? Could the Galaxy S IV be, to use Apple parlance, the Galaxy S III S?
It happens every other year: Apple releases their S model, a not insignificant upgrade from the previous year’s new design. The innards aren’t much different — a new processor and upgraded camera— but the real improvements are seen in the new version of iOS.
Every other year, like clockwork, the critics immediately pan the thing, claiming Apple has forgotten how to innovate.
How interesting would it be if the new Galaxy S looks just like the old Galaxy S, featured a similar, if not slightly upgraded processor, and focuses more on software updates?
Sammy could, of course, simply announce that their quad-core Exynos processor will be coming to the States. Currently, it’s only available outside of America.
The rest of Galaxy S IV rumors, however, suggest a few changes in hardware; some predict a 5-inch Full HD display, a 13 MP camera and 1.8 GHz Quad-core CPU.
To be fair, these rumors don’t necessarily smack of “insignificant” hardware updates.
If Packingham is telling the truth, could Smart Scroll be to the Galaxy S IV what Siri was to the iPhone 4S? We’ll find out on March 14.
Image Credit: style-photography.de / Shutterstock