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Is This Apple Inc. (AAPL) Patent Targeting Samsung?

At this point, most people have either used a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with its “smart scroll” feature or viewed the commercial touting just how convenient it can be. While this is a great addition to an already solid smartphone, it appears that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be getting in on the action in the near future.

Earlier today, we discovered a divisional patent that once again shows that Apple is interested in this type of technology.

The title of the patent is: Electronic Devices With Gaze Detection Capabilities

Apple Inc. (AAPL)As you can tell by the name alone, this patent is quite similar to what Samsung is already doing. The question to answer is this: is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) too late to the party?

Whether or not this sort of feature on an iPhone would be received well is up in the air. However, this shouldn’t stop us from taking a closer look at the patent and what Apple is hoping to accomplish.

Here is the abstract, which explains in greater detail what the patent covers:

“An electronic device may have gaze detection capabilities that allow the device to detect when a user is looking at the device. The electronic device may implement a power management scheme using the results of gaze detection operations. When the device detects that the user has looked away from the device, the device may dim a display screen and may perform other suitable actions. The device may pause a video playback operation when the device detects that the user has looked away from the device. The device may resume the video playback operation when the device detects that the user is looking towards the device. Gaze detector circuitry may be powered down when sensor data indicates that gazed detection readings will not be reliable or are not needed.”

As you can see, this is quite similar to what Samsung is already doing. That being said, it is important to note that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) filed a patent in September 2008 that covered pretty much the same technology. Why Cupertino never looked into releasing this technology with its iPhone is unknown. What isn’t unknown is the fact that Samsung beat Apple to the punch.

This is an interesting patent, and one that we can see Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rolling out in its iPhone in the near future.

For an image from the official patent, visit the next page: