Global tech behemoth Google has quietly acquired the startup Eyefluence which tracks user eye movements in virtual reality environments.
According to ZDnet, Google bought the Milpitas, CA-based firm for an undisclosed amount.
Established in 2013, Eyefluence develops software that tracks eye movements for use in augmented and virtual reality applications.
Google’s motives for the acquisition weren’t mentioned, but there is speculation that Eyefluence’s portfolio of virtual reality (VR) technology patents was a key draw.
The buyout comes as Google nears the November launch date for its Daydream View VR headset. In particular Eyefluence’s technology could mesh well with the new headset’s capabilities that cover eye-tracking, monitoring and gesture controls.
“Over the last three and a half years we have built an incredible team, advanced our eye-interaction technology, and created strong partnerships that have lead to the development of a completely new language for eye-interaction,” Eyefluence said on its blog. “With our forces combined, we will continue to advance eye-interaction technology to expand human potential and empathy on an even larger scale.”
The new headset is expected to retail for an affordable $79, which is cheaper than most other alternatives on the market.
Eyefluence joins a crowded market
This will join other VR products that are currently on the market or about to be released.
In the spring Oculus announced the finalized version of its Rift headset, complete with an Xbox One controller and two games for $599.
As well HTC developed its Vive VR powered by Valve’s Steam VR which initially was priced at around $800. W
As well PlayStation’s VR is selling for around $399, putting it at the more affordable end of the market. However, there have been criticisms of the headset for lacking the quality of Oculus Rift.
On top of the virtual reality market heating up, we also have mixed reality companies like Microsoft and Magic Leap that might explode onto the market with a new innovative headset.