Apple has filed a patent in the US that points towards future iPhones and iPads using eye–tracking technology of the sort that has long featured on Samsung Galaxy flagship phones.
The filing, made in April 2012 but only just revealed, lays bare Cupertino’s plans on how to utilise so–called 'gaze controls' within its devices.
Eye–tracking tech is required to overcome 'cursor fade', where the eyes lose track of a fixed point.
Known as the Troxler Effect, this can cause eye–tracking to become inaccurate, something that Apple’s patent is aimed at counteracting.
Apple’s hardware will follow the gaze of a user, allowing them to issue on-screen instructions with their eyes.
The system will measure eye movements constantly in order to stop cursor fade and ensure accuracy.
The invention could even work out the distance of a user from a display and the angle they’re viewing the screen, in order to make the tech as accurate as possible.
While iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad are obvious places for such tech, Apple is thought to be looking to include eye–tracking in its oft–rumoured HDTV product.
Samsung trialled eye–tracking in its Galaxy S4 smartphone in 2013, but the technology fell short of expectations. It’s likely to be years before an Apple version is available.