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Apple has acquired German eye-tracking company for an undisclosed amount

Apple has acquired German eye-tracking company for an undisclosed amount (Source: SMI)
Apple has acquired German eye-tracking company for an undisclosed amount (Source: SMI)
What exactly Apple has in mind with its newly acquired patents and technology remains unknown.

Founded in 1991, German company SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) specializes in the development and creation of eye-tracking technology for both commercial and scientific markets. Perhaps the company's most well-known commercial application is its eye-tracking hardware that played a major role in the creation of Sony's Playstation VR headset.

The resilience and independence of SMI in the eye-tracking market apparently caught the attention of Apple Inc. who had quietly acquired the company early last month. According to MacRumors, SMI has since heavily altered its official home page including the removal of contacts, links, schedule of upcoming events, and even all of its products.

The sudden takeover strongly suggests that Apple will be investing more on VR and AR applications with eye-tracking capabilities. While there are already laptops and monitors that integrate eye-tracking hardware with unique gaming functionalities, it will be interesting to see how Apple could approach the technology for its future MacBooks or iPhones.

The Cupertino company had acquired another German-based company called Metaio back in 2015 for an undisclosed sum in order to gain access to its augmented reality technology. Buying out smaller and lesser-known companies for exclusive rights to certain technologies has been a key stepping-stone for the creation of some of Apple's most successful products.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 06 > Apple has acquired German eye-tracking company for an undisclosed amount
Allen Ngo, 2017-06-27 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.