Apple just bought a company that made eye-tracking 'smart' glasses

Apple just bought a company that made eye-tracking 'smart' glasses

If you needed further evidence, the tech giant has just acquired SensoMototic Instruments (SMI), a German firm specialising in eye-tracking technology. Unless Apple plans to integrate eye-tracking technology into its computers or smartphones-an eye-tracking use-case which has seen little to no consumer adoption-the operative use of the company's tech seems to be aimed at AR or VR.

Apple's Vice President of Corporate Law representing Delaware's Vineyard Capital Corporation, granted power of attorney to a German law firm to represent the presumed shell company. The amount Apple paid as a part of the deal is not known yet, and also whether Apple would let SMI function as an independent company or absorb it within its larger framework.

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Apple's move makes a lot of sense given company's growing interest on AR applications. It is also worth noting that SMI recently updated its website by removing over a dozen pages with detailed information about its products. Apple's quest for secrecy runs even deeper than that-as with other smaller acquisitions it has made in the past, Apple tried to hide this one through shell companies, which MacRumors traced back to the outfit.

SensoMotoric already has a working model for glasses that can be used for eye-tracking for athletes, as well as having worked with the Oculus Rift team on eye-tracking for their VR headset.

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With its new ARKit augmented reality development platform, AAPL is planning to take AR mainstream in iOS 11. SMI has developed both hardware and software in the field of eye-tracking, and has created its own Eye Tracking Glasses. The company also added VR development support to the new iMac Pro. Apple might be able to use the technology to create high-resolution VR and AR experiences. He also believes that AR might be as transformative as the smartphone itself.

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