SensoMotoric Instruments also has technological capabilities in relation to augmented and virtual reality products such as remote eye tracking, mobile eye tracking, software for eye tracking, VR and AR eye tracking, and multimodal research.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our goal or plans", Apple was quoted as saying.
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SMI has been working in the arena of eye-tracking hardware and software for close to three decades in the segments of augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in-car systems, clinical research, cognitive training, linguistics, neuroscience, physical training and biomechanics, and psychology.
Apple's upcoming smartphone - the iPhone 8 - is expected to have AR and VR features. AR startup Magic Leap, which has raised $1.39 billion, uses eye tracking in its prototype headset.
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The acquisition is backed up by an anonymous tipster, who told us that he allegedly spoke to an Apple employee today who said the deal has been completed. In June, SensoMotoric Instruments filed several documents with the German Company Register outlining new articles of incorporation.
The Eye tracking glasses for example are capable of recording the natural gaze behavior in real time and situations providing a sampling rate of up to 120 Hz. Last year, the German company announced it had created an eye-tracking development kit for the HTC Vive VR headset.
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It appears the pieces are falling into place for Apple to make a push for augmented reality to be the next big thing, and it seems increasingly likely that Apple AR glasses will be a part of that. It has found application in sports, as illustrated by SMI's video below, but has huge potential in AR/VR headsets, where users can control and navigate a game or an interface, using nothing but eye movement.