Google Buys Eye-tracking Company Eyefluence

Eyefluence, a three year old technology start-up focusing on eye tracking technology, announced on their website that they will be joining Google. In other words, Google bought the technology company to add eye tracking technology to their portfolio. Given the graphic shown on their website, we assume that both parties are jumping up and down for joy.

We have reported on Eyefluence before, the company was developing eye tracking technology that will allow eye interaction with any head mounted display. The technology will work for AR as well as VR headsets and should be able to overcome the issue of input for such devices. In simple terms, if you stare at something on the screen long enough something may happen.

Eyefluence states on their website that “With our forces combined, we will continue to advance eye-interaction technology to expand human potential and empathy on an even larger scale. We look forward to the life-changing innovations we’ll create together!”

There were no details on the specifics of the deal published by either side, but we have to keep in mind that the company has raised close to $22 million so far. This would suggest that this was neither a very small nor a very substantial deal.

Analyst Comment

As they state, they have a clear vision of using their technology for something greater and useful for everyone. This has given rise to the speculation that Google is working on the successor to Google Glass and potentially even a VR sibling. They have always stated that they are not giving up on the technology but are taking a step back to develop the technology further. This could hint at what Google is aiming at in its next generation headsets. (NH)

As regular readers will have seen, I am a big proponent of eye tracking (or gaze recognition). If you know where I’m looking, you know what I care about. Further, as we have been reporting for a year or so, there are real issues delivering enough power for VR in a light package. By checking where the user is looking, you can optimise the image where it is most important – a technique called foveated rendering. That saves using a lot of power to render in detail where the eye can’t see it. (BR)