(The following is a guest post from our friends over at International Business Times.)
While Samsung’s Galaxy S3 continues to be one of the world’s best-selling smartphones, anticipation is building for the next device in the Galaxy S line. We’ve seen a slew of Galaxy S4 rumors in recent months, but one of the latest suggests the smartphone could come with touchless, gesture-based technology.
According to Korean news source DDaily, Samsung is planning to deploy an Atmel chip that would support gestures within the range of the screen without actually having to make contact. This is similar to Sony’s “floating touch” system, which allows users to hover their finger over the screen to perform tasks.
This feature can be likened to the Galaxy Note 2’s Air Play ability, but unlike Air Play, where users hold the stylus over a link or button and a preview appears on the Note 2 screen, Samsung’s alleged new technology would eliminate the need for a stylus.
Last year, Samsung filed a patent for gesture-based technology in which users would flick above the screen to scroll through pages or home screens. A diagram within the patent demonstrated how this feature would work, outlining various gestures alongside images of how to perform them.
The report from DDaily said this information came from unspecified industry sources, so it’s important to keep in mind that this can only be considered speculation. While this touchless technology hasn’t been confirmed, it does seem like a somewhat plausible rumor. If Samsung is already implementing a version of this technology in its Galaxy Note 2, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a more advanced version of it in the Galaxy S4.
Of course, there’s no telling how Samsung would implement this gesture-based technology if the rumors turn out to be true. However, we could imagine that it could be integrated into everyday tasks such as answering phone calls. Perhaps users would be able to simply hold the phone to their face rather than press an “Answer” or “Ignore” button. Additionally, we could see this tech being useful when wearing winter gloves that make touchscreen scrolling difficult.
Samsung has not officially revealed any launch information or details about the Galaxy S4, but a recent rumor says that the company will unveil the phone on March 15. According to Samsung blog Sam Mobile, the Galaxy S3 successor will begin selling in early April following this alleged reveal.
Samsung, however, refuses to comment on the matter.
“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” a Samsung spokesperson said, according to CNET.
Sam Mobile also claims that the Galaxy S4 will make its debut in Europe and Asia in April before making its way to the U.S., Australia and Africa around May or June. This is essentially the same launch cycle we saw with the Galaxy S3.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter for International Business Times, where this piece original appeared.