Apple has underlined its virtual and augmented reality ambitions with the purchase of German technology firm SensoMotoric Instruments, German press agency DPA reported Tuesday.
SensoMotoric instruments, which is based in Teltow near Berlin, specializes in eye tracking systems. Amongst others, such technology can be used for virtual reality glasses where eye movement is monitored by small cameras.
There are many potential benefits to SensoMotoric's systems for hard- and software developers.
One the one hand, eye tracking allows for more efficient computing as it only displays content in high quality necessary in areas actually observed by users.
On the other hand, the technology enables computers to be directed with eye movements, a circumstance which has led to its use in medical devices.
According to press reports, SensoMotoric track record includes the firm's involvement in the development of virtual reality glasses for the consumer electronics company HTC, as well as the games platform Valve.
Apple reacted to media reports about the purchase with a generic response and said, "From time to time, Apple buys smaller technology firms and we do not comment on our objectives or plans as a matter of principle."
The Cupertino, California-based manufacturer of the iPhone and MacBook has demonstrated a particular interest in augmented reality solutions, which can blend virtual objects into real environments.
Last month, Apple presented its new software platform "ARKit" which is intended to assist developers in the creation of such applications.