Apple may have bought eye tracking tech firm SensoMotoric Instruments


Apple has acquired German eye tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments, reports MacRumors.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, MacRumors on Monday, June 26 reported that Apple has acquired eye tracking hardware manufacturer SensoMotoric Instruments.

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.

Apple gave the usual response when asked for a comment on the development by TechCrunch: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our objective or plans".

The company's technology can record and track a wearer's gaze in real-time at 120 times per second, reducing lag and hence motion sickness.

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For VR and AR applications, SMI's eye-tracking system works with engines including Unity, Unreal and WorldViz's Vizard.

In addition to VR and AR applications, the company's eye-tracking system has been used for clinical research, cognitive and physical training, vision science and ophthalmology, and market research, according to its website.

Last month, Apple introduced ARKit, a set of APIs for developers interested in building augmented reality experiences.

Apart from the glasses, SMI has also developed a VR technology called foveated rendering, which locates the VR area exactly in front of the user's gaze and renders it at full resolution, blurring out the rest. The technology is seen as essential by many experts to bring ultra high-resolution screens to VR and AR headsets. The company also brought VR development support to the company's highest-end desktop, the iMac Pro. He also believes that AR might be as transformative as the smartphone itself.