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Report: Apple may have bought eye tracking tech firm SensoMotoric Instruments

Apple may have purchased an eye tracking technology company called SensoMotoric Instruments, MacRumors believes. The report is based on legal activity discovered through a shell company and Apple attorney Gene Levoff.

SensoMotoric Instruments was technically acquired by Vineyard Capital Corporation which has a connection to the Apple attorney mentioned, while papers filed for the deal list Cupertino, CA. MacRumors also says an anonymous tipster shared that the deal closed today, although Apple nor SensoMotoric Instruments have confirmed the acquisition.

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. Additionally, one of SensoMotoric’s clients informed us that they have been attempting to contact the company for several weeks without hearing back.

Based on information still listed on SMI’s website, the company envisions its eye tracking technology being used in “PCs to cars, and industrial processes.”

SMI sees computer vision becoming an integral part of day-to-day applications. To that end, our work adds critical value for doctors, patients, researchers, trainees, marketing and usability professionals and ultimately, for users of everyday appliances.

The company’s website also highlights both AR and VR applications for its eye tracking technology. Apple CEO Tim Cook has long hyped the appeal of AR technology while iOS 11 introduces new ARKit tools for developers to use in iPhone and iPad apps. Apple is also rumored to be developing a heads-up display for AR purposes.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update if the deal is confirmed.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.