Feature Article

March 19, 2013

South Korean Consumer Giants Samsung, LG in Patent Row over Eye Recognition Technology

South Korean news agency Yonhap has reported that consumer electronics manufacturers, Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., are in a patent row over technology that enables users to control their smartphones with their eyes.

Both Korean consumer giants are reportedly planning to release their respective flagship smartphones next month.

According to Yonhap reporter lee Minji, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have both incorporated eye-tracking technology in their latest flagship smartphones – the Galaxy S4 and the Optimus G Pro – which are set for release in April.

As per this report, Samsung Electronics calls its eye-tracking feature "smart pause," while LG Electronics labels it as "smart video."

“This feature pauses a video when a user looks away then resumes it when the user turns back to the device,” wrote Minji.

In fact, both firms have been promoting their eye recognition technology as one of the key user experience features in their latest products. While Samsung claims that its eye recognition technology was touted as one of the key features of upcoming Galaxy S4 via product teasers, LG Electronics asserts that it applied for the technology patent back in August 2009.

In addition, the company claims that it has applied for patents for other eye-recognition technologies as well. For instance, it leaves the screen on as long as the user's glance is detected.

An LG Electronics official told the Korean press that the company plans to review potential patent infringements when the rival smartphone hits the market. In response, a Samsung Electronics official denied the possibility of a patent infringement. Samsung said the company owns the original technology and uses different methods to realize the disputed features.

This is not the first dispute between the two South Korean tech giants. Both have also been involved in disagreements over the size of their refrigerators.

Edited by Braden Becker

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