Apple has reportedly acquired SensoMotoric Instruments, a German company that develops eye tracking technology products for applications including research, cognitive training and learning, linguistics, neuroscience, and virtual and augmented reality.
Founded in 1991 in Teltow, Germany, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) has developed eye tracking technologies for more than 6,000 researchers and professionals worldwide. On its company statement, SMI said that it "sees computer vision becoming an integral part of day-to-day applications," and that, "to that end, our work adds critical value for doctors, patients, researchers, trainees, marketing, and usability professionals and ultimately, for users of everyday appliances."
In SMI’s vision for eye tracking, visual attention will be "guided intuitively to allow for easier and faster learning, better comprehension of documents and websites, optimal interpretation of graphical data, and other applications where human visual perceptions play a central role.” Further, SMI sees that gaze, gesture, facial expressions, and other communication modalities will become part of multimodal user interfaces in everything from PCs to cars, and industrial processes."
When Apple was asked for comment regarding the acquisition, it provided an answer that Apple "typically uses when all but affirming an acquisition," according to Fortune.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said an Apple rep.
Fortune also noted that Tim Cook, Apple CEO, has previously compared augmented reality’s potential to that of the smartphone.
View the Fortune article.
View more information on SMI.
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