LookAway Player 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)LookAway Player 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Samsung has been promoting its eye-tracking technology, which debuted on the Galaxy S3, for some time now. As an S3 owner, I must say I wasn’t impressed with the handset’s ability to automatically shut down the display when looking away: it’s taxing on the battery and not very reliable. With the Galaxy S4, which is scheduled to go on sale by end of April, Samsung is doubling down on eye-tracking with a few related new features like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause.

And now, a new iPhone app has been released which brings the Smart Pause-like functionality to the iPhone…

As the name suggests, LookAway Player is a standard YouTube player application for the iPhone with built-in eye-tracking technology, powered by Cube26’s vision control capabilities that utilizes the front-facing camera to track eye movement.

You can control sensitivity of eye-tracking using two sliders in settings.

LookAway Player 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)LookAway Player 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)

Then, search for a YouTube clip (or choose one of the trending videos) and start playing. When you look away, depending on your sensitive settings, the app should pause playback. Look straight at the screen and your media should resume playing.

It’s basically a proof-of-concept and we’d love to learn about your impressions down in the comments. The app supports the iPhone 4S and above and the iPad 2 and above.

Go ahead, download and try out LookAway Player now, it’s completely free.

For reference, here’s a demo of the Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features from Samsung’s Broadway-like Unpacked event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yaw6CSaPnfk#t=42m50s

That has got to be the awkwardest keynote I have ever seen, by the way. And what’s up with Hollywood C-list actors?

So, are features like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause just gimmicks designed to tick a few boxes or real enhancements?

I think iPhone users could benefit from something like Smart Pause. If done right, a feature like this could help conserve the handset’s battery life, no?