Bonnie Cha

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LG Sets Sights on Samsung, Announces Eye-Recognition Software for Optimus G Pro

Today, LG announced an update that will bring eye-recognition software to its Optimus G Pro smartphone, among other things.

Interesting timing, considering that LG’s rival, Samsung, is expected to unveil the much-anticipated Galaxy S IV at an event in New York tomorrow. The flagship Android smartphone is also rumored to have eye-tracking technology.

But LG has the spotlight for today.

Rolling out to Optimus G Pro users in Korea next month, the new LG Smart Video feature allows you to control the smartphone’s video player with eye movements. It does so by using the front-facing camera to track the position of your eye. If you’re watching a video and you look away, the player will automatically pause the clip until your eyes focus on the screen again.

The feature will be integrated into other premium smartphones in the future, LG said.

In addition to the eye-tracking, the “Value Pack” update also adds a dual-camera function, allowing you to simultaneously take a picture with the front and rear cameras.

Though LG might be first out of the gate with its eye-tracking software, there’s another question of whether the technology will actually be seen here in the States.

The company has struggled to compete in the U.S. market. Part of the problem is that LG’s handsets, particularly the high-end models, aren’t widely available from carriers with subsidized pricing in the way Samsung’s devices are.

For example, the LG Optimus G is available through AT&T and Sprint, while the Samsung Galaxy S III is available from all four major carriers, as well as numerous prepaid and regional providers. I suspect this will also be the case with the Galaxy S IV.

The LG Optimus G Pro is expected to be released in the U.S. in the second quarter. There’s no word on carrier partnerships yet, and LG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”