Samsung's Creepy Phone Tech Should Worry Apple Shareholders

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(Donald Bowers, Getty Images for Samsung)
Samsung has already overtaken Apple (AAPL) to become the world's largest seller of smartphones, and now it's hoping to pad its lead.

The South Korean tech giant will be introducing its latest Android-fueled handset -- the Samsung Galaxy S4 -- during Thursday night's Samsung Unpacked event in New York City.

The rumored specs are pretty impressive.
  • The Galaxy S4 will apparently feature a high-resolution 5-inch screen.
  • A 13-megapixel camera -- as opposed to the iPhone 5's 8-megapixel camera -- will shoot high-def video in 1080p. Another rumor suggests that the S4's camera will be able to take 3-D pictures.
  • The new smartphone will come with a speedy 1.8GHz processor and two gigabytes of RAM, again surpassing Apple's current iPhone 5.
These features alone and running on Google's (GOOG) latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system should be enough to woo smartphone buyers.

But perhaps the device's greatest bar-raising contribution will be the ability to scroll down without lifting a finger.

Really.

Eye on the Prize

Samsung's Galaxy phones are already watching your eyes. The Galaxy S3's front-facing camera can detect if the device is being watched so it won't dim the screen. It's a way to preserve the battery life without interfering when it's actually in use.

However, one of the more interesting rumors making the rounds this time is that Samsung will use an enhanced version of the eye-tracking software to provide touch-less scrolling.

Samsung already has patents for Eye Scroll and Eye Pause, and this could be the device that brings it all together. In theory, once Samsung's camera detects that you're looking at the bottom of the screen it can scroll up so you can keep reading without having to slide your finger along the side of the screen.

Is this too creepy? Is this a game changer that will find everyone else scrambling to catch up in ways that don't violate Samsung's patents? Is this going to give Apple -- already hitting a fresh 52-week low last week -- more to do as it readies its next iPhone?

Everyone's watching Samsung this week to learn if Samsung itself is watching you.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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Mr. Incredible

Yes, this phone is perfect for those too lazy to lift a finger....

March 13 2013 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply