Apple acquires eye tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments

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Adding more arsenal to its augmented reality efforts, Apple has acquired SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), an eye-tracking firm, MacRumors reports. Though the terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, the acquisition clearly hints at where Apple is headed in terms of AR.


Founded in 1991, SMI has made significant advances in eye-tracking software, coming up with various proprietary eyeglass hardware and technologies. Last year, the German company announced it had created an eye-tracking development kit for the HTC Vive VR headset.

SMI's glasses are capable of following your gaze in real time for all kinds of practical applications, such as improving athletic performance or figuring out which store displays catch a shopper's attention. And this technology kinds of dovetails into Apple's reportedly under development AR Glasses.

Eye-tracking startups are the latest craze in the tech industry. In October, Google acquired Eyefluence, an eye-tracking startup that uses eye movements to make interface selections. Last month, Apple introduced ARKit, a set of APIs for developers interested in building augmented reality experiences.

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