Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Apple acquires German company specializing in AR and eye tracking

Apple acquires German company specializing in AR and eye tracking

In this regard, Cupertino is apparently looking to build on its AR development effort and is likely to have acquired a German-based company, called SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI).

According to evidence compiled by MacRumours, legal activity discovered through a shell company and carried out by Apple attorney Gene Levoff all point towards Apple having acquired the German company. This was timed with an update to SensoMotoric's website which removed dozens of pages of product information, job application resources, key personnel bios, and contact information. SMI's eye-tracking hardware is used in a variety of applications, including virtual and augmented reality, early autism detection in children, in-car systems, brain mapping and neurology, vision science, psychology, physical training, and the list goes on. To that end, when reached for further comment on the SMI deal, an Apple spokesperson reiterated the classic "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our objective or plans" line. As it often happens with big enterprises, they tend to use shell companies for corporate and other acquisitions, in order to minimize publicity of the deals. The technology potentially reduces input lag, cutting down on motion sickness when the perception of movement doesn't match a shift in perspective. The company's managing director Eberhard Schmidt and one more director's profiles were also taken off the site.

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Last month, Apple introduced ARKit, a set of APIs for developers interested in building augmented reality experiences. It could also help Apple in developing software that can be integrated in coming iPhones or can make it to life as standalone devices. This decreases process load and VR can therefore be run using more performance efficient metrics.

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