Apple patent for gaze detection rivals Samsung's 'Smart Pause' feature

Apple patents its own Smart Pause feature
Apple patents a feature that no one liked in the Galaxy S4

A new Apple patent reveals that future iOS devices could incorporate gaze technology that rival Samsung's "Smart Pause" and "Smart Scroll" features found in the Galaxy S4.

The "Electronic Devices With Gaze Detection Capabilities" patent lays out several benefits for iPhones and iPads capable of detecting when a user is looking at the device.

"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," indicates the U.S. Patent and Trademark filing.

In addition to battery-saving benefits, the capability could regulate video playback for only the right, eyes-on-the-screen moments.

"The device may pause a video playback operation when the device detects that the user has looked away [and] resume the video playback operation when the device detects that the user is looking towards the device."

Patent for a pressable, flexible display

A more original Apple patent entitled "Embedded Force Measurement" was also published today, discovered Apple Insider.

"[It's a] force detection system that detects force exerted on a flexible display based upon changes in resistance and/or capacitance," reads the patent's abstract.

Such pressable, flexible technology would allow the company's two-dimensional multitouch screen to add a third dimension in the form of a z-axis.

The best real-world example of this new screen technology being used in an app comes from the patent's GarageBand example. The virtual keyboard would be able to detect how loudly notes should be played.

All of a sudden, the ability to play chopsticks on a virtual piano may have just gotten a little more advanced beyond the original iPad mini commercial.

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Matt Swider