Apple buys SensoMotoric Instruments, an eye tracking firm

Apple has scooped up SenSoMotoric Instruments (SMI), a Germany-based company that makes eye tracking hardware and software. The deal was first reported by MacRumors and confirmed by Axios.

SMI provides eye tracking systems for scientific research, professional solutions and original equipment manufacturer applications. The eye trackers can be combined with motion tracking systems, EEG, and other biometric data. They can be integrated into virtual reality environments, head-mounted displays (such as the Oculus Rift), simulators, cars, or computers as a measurement or interaction modality.

The acquisition could help Apple with its efforts in augmented and virtual reality. The company is building augmented reality tools for developers into the upcoming iOS 11.