Facebook’s Oculus has acquired Danish company The Eye Tribe, Robert Scoble first reported Tuesday on his Facebook page.
Without stating a price, Oculus then confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch on Wednesday.
The Eye Tribe, founded in 2011, develops eye-tracking software that enables eye movements to control consumer devices, the company’s website says. It began shipping its “Eye Tracking Software Development Kit” to developers in 2014.
The company’s cofounder Sune Alstrop explained more about what the technology can do to TechCrunch back in 2014: “This technology can basically go into any kind of device, everything from your smartphone, to your watch, or your car to automatically detect if you’re falling asleep behind the wheel, or in games where you could use your eyes to shoot. This is the kind of technology that’s applied in fighter planes today, it’s million dollar technology that we’re bringing to the mass market.”
But it’s the technology’s application to virtual reality (VR) which most likely got Oculus interested. After visiting the Copenhagen-based startup, Scoble said: “Eye sensors will radically improve VR and AR [augmented reality].”
TechCrunch says: “[The Eye Tribe’s technology] lets VR systems save computational power by only generating perfect graphics where you’re looking. Essentially it creates a focal point that moves with your eyes.”
According to Crunchbase, The Eye Tribe has so far raised just over $3 million (£2.4 million), a pinch compared to the $21.6 million (£17.6 million) eye-tracking company Eyefluence had raised before being acquired by Google in October.