Report: Apple Acquires VR & AR Eye-tracking Company SMI

Road to VR

A report from MacRumors provides compelling evidence that Apple has quietly acquired SMI, also known as SensoMotoric Instruments, a company specializing in eye-tracking technology. German-based SMI has specialized in eye-tracking since its founding in 1991.

Eye-tracking is a Game Changer for VR That Goes Far Beyond Foveated Rendering

Road to VR

Eye-tracking—the ability to quickly and precisely measure the direction a user is looking while inside of a VR headset—is often talked about within the context of foveated rendering, with the hopes that it could reduce the performance requirements of VR.

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Eye-Tracking Is Both Incredibly Important And Very Risky


At CES last week one of my first demos was with Tobii and its eye-tracking technology. I left the demo convinced that once you’ve tried a VR headset with eye-tracking included you’ll never want to wear one without it again. Bringing Your Eyes To Life.

Apple’s Latest VR Patent Describes a Compact VR Headset with Eye Tracking

Road to VR

In a patent filed in 2017 and issued today by the United States Patent Office, Apple describes a VR headset designed to be compact and comfortable. A diagram of Apple’s catadioptric optical system | Image courtesy USPTO.

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7Invensun is a Chinese company that wants to disrupt the VR eye tracking sector

The Ghost Howls

Eye tracking is, in my opinion, a technology that will disrupt completely the VR ecosystem , exactly as room-scale did with the first HTC Vive. All VR interfaces will change with the introduction of eye tracking, becoming more intuitive.

Apple HMD Research Continues With New Eye-Tracking Patent


An Apple patent for eye-tracking published today highlights the company’s continued research and investment into VR and AR. Last year Apple reportedly acquired leading eye-tracking company SMI, which forced other manufacturers using the tech in their hardware designs to find other options. Eye-tracking is important for comfortable communication using a VR or AR headset — allowing you, for example, to make eye contact with people elsewhere in the world.

How Eye Tracking is Driving the Next Generation of AR and VR


AR and VR are gearing up for a giant leap forward thanks to advancements in eye-tracking technology. The industry has been experiencing a boom in recent years with hundreds of startups and heavy investment from tech giants including Google, Apple, Samsung, and Facebook.

Apple May Have Just Bought Eye-Tracking Firm SMI


Back at the start of the month Apple got serious about VR, revealing its latest iMac Pros would support SteamVR. Now new rumors surrounding the company suggest it’s also looking into one of VR’s most requested features – eye-tracking. SMI offers a range of different eye-tracking solutions, having worked on the concept since the early 90’s. If true, we do wonder what use Apple has for SMI tech. Apple VR Industry News

iOS 13 Points Towards Existence Of Apple’s Supposedly-Canceled AR Headset


Could Apple’s long-speculated AR glasses still be in development? Earlier this year, rumors generated by patents submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office suggested that a wearable augmented reality device could potentially be in development at Apple.

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Weekly Funding Roundup: Apple Buys German Eye Tracking Firm.


Weekly Funding Roundup: Apple Buys German Eye Tracking Firm SensoMotoric Instruments, Adobe Buys Mettle’s SkyBox Tools, and Former Valve initiative CastAR Shuts Down 1) Apple has quietly bought SensoMotoric Instruments , a German maker of eye-tracking glasses.

Flurry of New Apple ‘AR/VR’ Job Listings Point to New Products on the Horizon

Road to VR

A flurry of new job listings for Apple’s secretive ‘Technology Development Group’ suggests that the company has reached a new phase of turning its years of AR/VR R&D into actual upcoming products.

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Apple Seeks to “identify new computational display technologies for AR/VR” with New Hires

Road to VR

In its latest hiring bout, over the last month Apple has sought more than a dozen new hires specifically for AR and VR roles. Among them, the company is looking for a Computational Display Engineering Manager for incubating advanced display technologies for use with upcoming Apple products.

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Report: Apple Developing AR/VR Headset with 8K Resolution Per-eye Slated for 2020

Road to VR

According to a report by CNET , citing an anonymous “person familiar with Apple’s plans,” the company is working on an AR/VR headset targeting 8K resolution per-eye, scheduled for launch in 2020. Apple Apple AR Apple VR News apple apple ar apple vr

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Apple Acquires AR Optics Startup Akonia Holographics

Road to VR

Apple has acquired Akonia Holographics , a startup focused on holographic display and storage technology. The acquisition of Akonia Holographics was confirmed to Reuters by Apple , though the tight-lipped company had nothing to share regarding the purpose of the acquisition.

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Apple Patent Filing Reveals Wide Field Of View Foveated AR Display Concept


A patent application filed by Apple offers a look at the company’s ideas for wide field of view foveated augmented reality display technology. Reports that Apple is working on AR glasses first emerged in late 2017. Apple notes this as a key design consideration in the patent.

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Apple, Valve, and LG Invest in OLED Microdisplay Maker eMagin

Road to VR

According to documents filed last month with SEC, a new stock issuance of some $10 million by OLED microdisplay maker eMagin will be bought up by Apple, Valve, and LG, among others. SEE ALSO Apple's Latest VR Patent Describes a Compact VR Headset with Eye Tracking.

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The XR Week Peek (2020.05.25): new rumors on Apple Glasses, Oculus Quest anniversary, HP Reverb G2 and more!

The Ghost Howls

Apple Glasses may release in 2021 for $499. In the end, technologist Jon Prosser has revealed the main details he knows about the Apple Glasses. They’re fancier than the standard QR codes, but they seem also harder to decode and track due to a missing calibration pattern.

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Report: Apple Targeting 2020 Release For Wireless VR/AR Headset


Just yesterday we highlighted a new patent from Apple for eye-tracking in a VR/AR headset — the latest in a long string of breadcrumbs from the company indicating spatial computing continues to be an area of extreme interest. Today, a report from CNET writer Shara Tibken , citing an unnamed source, suggests Apple is targeting a 2020 release for what sounds like a combination AR/VR headset “that would be untethered from a computer or smartphone.”

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Apple is working on an AR/VR headset for 2020: my thoughts over this news

The Ghost Howls

On Friday, a report on CNET shook a bit the XR community revealing that Apple is working on an AR/VR headset for 2020. An article that has become pretty popular, since every time that Apple makes something in an industry, it for sure changes all the market dynamics.

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What Magic Leap One And Facebook’s Half Dome Have In Common


From the chart above, a varifocal headset like Half Dome and a multifocal headset like Magic Leap One have something in common — they both depend on eye tracking to get digital objects to the right focal depth. Optics And Eye Strain.

The Ghost Howls’s VR Week Peek (2019.07.15): Apple kills its AR glasses, Oculus full-steam ahead on 2nd gen VR and much more!

The Ghost Howls

Apple has killed its AR glasses project… maybe. A piece of unexpected news has shaken the XR communities this week: according to a report on Digitimes Taiwan, Apple has abandoned its AR/VR glasses project and all the members of the team have been re-allocated in other teams.

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VRWorld: Our Most Popular Stories of 2017


9: Could Varjo’s Human Eye Technology be a Breakthrough for VR? In this piece, we took a deep look into “ foveated eye tracking ” and what it means in terms of technology being developed by Finnish VR startup, Varjo. In position seven on our list is a series of interrelated stories, pertaining to developments of new video card/GPU technologies that caught our readers’ eyes last year. 4: Apple’s AR efforts.

The XR Week Peek (2020.04.13): iPhone 12 adds depth camera, StarVR One is back to the market and much more!

The Ghost Howls

Well, if the rumor becomes reality, this would mean that all next Apple devices will have both front and back depth cameras, for high-precision Augmented Reality and 3D reconstruction. Well played Apple. PSVR 2 may have inside-out tracking.

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The XR Week Peek (2020.03.30): Half-Life: Alyx breaks every VR record, HP teases Reverb G2, and more!

The Ghost Howls

The old Reverb was already a great headset, with a 2K per eye resolution that was above all the other headsets on the market (with the exception of Pimax, of course). Valve could provide some audio-visual improvements, while Microsoft its WMR platform, with inside-out tracking of controllers.

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More hints emerge about Apple’s AR effort


While the web is perennially rife with speculation about Apple’s plans to develop a hardware device in the AR/VR space, a somewhat under-the-radar story out of Taiwan may shed a bit more light on the company’s plans. As reported by the Nikkei Asian Review, one of Apple’s supply chain partners, MacBook and Watch assembler Quanta Computer, hinted during their most recent earnings conference call that they may be playing a significant role in the development of an augmented reality device.

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Facebook’s Chief Researcher: ‘When The Next Generation of VR Shows Up, It Will Be Because We Did It’


This is due to the difficulty of fitting a new display technology, as well as a tracking system and processing, into a lightweight pair of glasses — and somehow having an all day battery life.

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AR+VR Weekly: 3 million PSVRs, $5 billion in XR investments & Apple smartglasses 2020?

AWE Blog

In addition to keeping you up-to-date on the top AR+VR news, funding activity, and launch announcements, here are there three stories you need to know: 3 million PSVRs, $5 billion in XR investments and Apple smartglasses 2020? StarVR debuts eye-tracking VR headset for enterprise use ( ZDNET ).

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AR+VR Weekly: IDC’s latest forecast, Macy’s commitment to VR and Apple’s depth-sensing lead

AWE Blog

In addition to keeping you up-to-date on the top AR+VR news, funding activity, and launch announcements, here are there three stories you need to know: IDC releases new AR and VR headset numbers , Macy rolling out VR to 60 stores and Apple’s 3D sensing lead.

HoloLens 2 Now Shipping, Microsoft Announces


It succeeds the original device with a sleeker design, wider field of view and an assortment of other improvements like gesture recognition and eye-tracking. Rumors also continue to persist about a possible Apple AR headset to release in the years ahead.

My Oculus Connect 6 predictions: a glimpse of the XR of the future

The Ghost Howls

And to be the leader in some years, it has to start going public now, also to begin competing with Apple, that will probably announce its AR glasses next year. But Facebook has a big problem and that big problem is called Apple. MR & hand tracking?

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LYNX-R1 Is A $1500 Standalone Passthrough AR Headset


Varjo XR-1 and XTAL both promote similar capabilities, as was the Vrvana Totem acquired by Apple. Inside the headset are eye tracking cameras. LYNX-R1, from France-based startup Lynx, is the first 6DoF standalone passthrough video AR headset. It is priced at $1499.

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Facebook Surges in U.S. Patent Rankings Due to Mounting AR Strategy

Road to VR

Apple Inc. Of the many granted, here’s a few of the most interesting AR/VR patents we’ve found: Beamsplitter assembly for eye tracking in head-mounted displays. An analysis of U.S.

The XR Week Peek (2020.02.10): Lynx launches MR standalone headset, Facebook acquires Scape and much more!

The Ghost Howls

And the fact that it features AR and eye tracking is for sure awesome. I’m a man, so of course, I don’t cry, but “a friend of mine” had his eyes become very wet while watching it. Let’s see how Apple and Google will answer.

SIGGRAPH 2017: Neurable Lets You Control A Virtual World With Your Mind


I’ve used my eyes to interact with a virtual world before, but startup Neurable just enhanced that experience by reading my thoughts too. This is combined with eye-tracking technology from German firm SMI, which may have just been acquired by Apple.

CES 2018: The 5 Biggest VR Tech Updates


The 2880 x 1600 combined display (1440 x 1600 per eye) showed a great amount of detail and the headset overall seemed to offer a better weight balance. systems that can be used in 4-station tracking configurations offering the freedom to move around much larger areas. for each eye).

My predictions for virtual reality in 2020

The Ghost Howls

Pico Neo 2 and Pico Neo 2 Eye, enterprise headsets just launched at CES (Image by Pico Interactive). Truly next-gen VR (featuring a fantastic display and very wide FOV, varifocal resolution, eye tracking, haptics controllers, etc…) will take many years to realize.

The Ghost Howls’s VR Week Peek (2019.11.18): Magic Leap may be in trouble, Carmack leaving Oculus and much more!

The Ghost Howls

Apple AR glasses may be released in 2022–2023. Apple, that many considered as the saviour of XR, the company that could start the big wave, is probably not releasing an AR glass until 2022. More info (Apple glasses delayed to 2022) More info (Apple glasses delay).