Samsung Galaxy S4 launch: Expert predicts big things from camera sensor tech

Answer calls, open apps and switch off your alarm, all with the camera?

Expanded camera sensor functionality will set Samsung GalaxyS4 apart from the competition, one industry expert tells us. So, expect more features like Smart Stay.

While the tech world continues to debate whether the Samsung Galaxy S4 will have an eight-core processor or display size over 5-inches, one industry expert thinks it could be new camera sensor technology that impresses the most when the device debuts in a couple of weeks.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review: the one true iPad alternative

In an interview with T3, IDC's Lead Researcher for Mobile, Ramon Llamas predicts Samsung will build significantly on the front-facing camera technology it successfully introduced with the S3.

The Smart Stay functionality, which picks up whether users are reading the screen and overrides dimming and time-out settings, was one of the most innovative features the S3 brought to the table. Llamas says to expect more of the same, come the Samsung Unpacked event on March 14 in New York city.

He told T3: “The big thing for me is going to be the camera. It's one of the most often used features on the phone, but I think it's important in more ways than just taking pictures.

“What else can you do with that camera? Specifically the sensor. We've gone through this entire generation of 'what different sensors can you have on your phone' and been so gaga about having an accelerometer here and a gyrometer there. I think that's great, but using the camera sensor to activate or deactivate has to be number one going forward.”

The tech could be used to accept or reject calls, perhaps turn off an alarm clock and even open apps without touching the device, Llamas said.

He added: “Having a feature that can sense when I'm reading the screen [Smart Stay] is awesome, but let's break it down to a larger use case.

“Suppose that you get a phone call and the Galaxy S4 is sitting on your desk. Instead of having to pick up the phone, just wave your hand over it from right to left in order to take the call.

“But if another phone call comes in from your landlord or something you could swipe your hand from left to right to say “I'm not going to take that call right now.

“Do you want to turn your alarm clock off? Do you want to launch an application? Do you want to start an email? There are so many possibilities.”

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is clearly the most smartphone anticipated launch of 2014 to date. Keep it locked to as we speak to some of the industry's most knowledgeable figures to discuss what we may see in New York City that will shape the future of smartphones.