Rumor: Galaxy S4 to introduce eye-tracking that will autoscroll text as you read

eye-tracking-slimAccording to the latest rumor, Samsung is enhancing the Smart Stay feature seen on the Galaxy S3 for the release of the Galaxy S4, as it’ll introduce a sister feature dubbed eye scrolling on its new flagship phone. The report comes from an anonymous source speaking to the New York Times, who explains the system will automatically scroll a page of text down when it sees you’ve almost reached the bottom.

For those unfamiliar with the Galaxy S3’s feature list, Smart Stay uses the forward-facing webcam to watch you while you’re using the phone, then stops the screen from dimming and going to sleep provided it sees you looking at the screen. It works surprisingly well, and is helpful for reading any wall of text, whether it’s a long email, online article, or eBook.

Eye scrolling is a natural progression of this, as the camera will not only ensure the screen stays alive, but also keep an eye (sorry) on the position of your pupils as you read. The NY Times noted a Samsung filed a patent for a similar feature named Eye Scroll earlier this year, which senses eye movements and scrolls the display accordingly. Eye tracking technology has been hanging around the fringes of both the e-reading and computing scenes for a while, but mainly in concept form. Take a look at Text 2.0, a project from a German research team utilizing Tobii Technology’s eye tracker system to great effect back in 2010, to get an idea of where it could go in the future.

Samsung introduced a variety of interesting software features with the Galaxy S3, using them to differentiate the new phone from the competition instead of concentrating on the technical specifications. It’s likely to do the same with the Galaxy S4, with the Times’ source saying, “The new software features of the new phone outweigh the importance of the hardware.” Although we won’t find out until it’s launched, this statement fits in with the rumor the Galaxy S4 will use another quad-core processor like its predecessor, instead of Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa eight-core chip.

The Eye Scroll feature hasn’t been confirmed by Samsung, but it does at least sound plausible. We’ll find out whether it’s coming to the Galaxy S4 on March 14, and you can take a look at the first teaser video from the firm here, just in case you’re not excited about the new phone enough already.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Smart Home

Military-grade baby monitor called Miku was a hit with parents at CES 2019

Who knew the world needed a smarter baby monitor? Apparently it's the startup Miku, which brought a new high-tech baby monitor to CES 2019 that uses A.I., machine learning, and high quality cameras to keep an eye on kids.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.