Apple buys German eye-tracking firm SensoMotoric Instruments

MacRumors uncovered the acquisition of SensoMotoric Instruments [SMI] by an Apple “shell company” Vineyard Capital Corporation. Apple uses such companies to conceal its acquisitions, but this time MacRumors spotted the signature of Apple’s VP of Corporate Law, Gene Levoff, on a document involved with the transaction.

SMI has developed eye-tracking technology for a variety of applications, including clinical research, vision science, and virtual and augmented reality. Almost certainly, it’s the VR/AR applications that interest Apple.

SMI has developed glasses with built-in eye-tracking sensors (shown above) as well as installed its sensors into VR headsets. In AR/VR, there are two basic uses for eye tracking. First, eye tracking can be used to control a pointing indicator such as a cursor or spot. Thus, it affords the user “hands free” pointing and selection capability.

Looks like future iPhone and iPads will incorporate such technology into their smartphones.

Source Seekingalpha

By Harry