Apple Acquires SensoMotoric Eye Tracking Firm as Part of its VR/AR Efforts
Apple has always been very secretive about its acquisition; the deals are often done via shell companies. According to MacRumors, Apple has acquired the German computer vision company called “SensoMotoric Instruments.” The firm has been into eye tracking glasses and other related systems.
The bells started ringing when the Apple’s VP of corporate law Gene Levoff granted power of attorney to the German law firm Hiking Kuhn Luer which allowed the latter to represent Vineyard Capital Corporation in all business related matters. On the other hand, Sensometric also filed the relevant documents that represented changes in its articles of incorporation. This was followed by swapping of the SensoMotoric MD Eberhard Schmidt by Dr Ali Sahin who happens to be one of the German attorneys representing Vineyard Capital Corporation.
The final giveaway is Levoff’s signature on the documents which clearly hint that the Vineyard Capital Corporation is actually Apple. The document was also notarized in Cupertino, California and we all know Apple is headquartered in Cupertino.Coming back to the company itself, SensoMotoric has been developing a wide range of eye tracking hardware and software which can be employed in several fields including VR, augmented reality, in-car systems, clinical research, cognitive training, neuroscience and psychology. The eyeglasses from the company are capable of registering a person’s gaze response at a rate of 120Hz in real-time. This is something that will change the VR for good as the users will be able to control their movements by gazing.
SensoMotoric technology is also available for Oculus Rift and apart from analysing the wearer’s gaze it can also help reduce motion sickness (perhaps by lowering the latency.) Furthermore, the feature will allow VR users to select certain menus or other items by using their gaze. Apple is speculated to be prepping a Smart Glass and is also jumping on the VR/AR bandwagon, all of this only makes much more sense for Apple to acquire SensoMotoric.