Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Google’s VR Arsenal Gains Eye-tracking Company Eyefluence

Google has acquired Eyefluence, a company developing eye-tracking tech for AR and VR headsets.

The  acquisition was revealed on Eyefluence’s blog in a short post on 24 October. The precise terms of the deal—including the sum Google paid— have not been disclosed.

California-based Eyefluence was founded three years ago  by serial entrepreneur Jim Marggraff, whose previous successful exits include smart-pen company Livescribe.

The company had raised about $21.6 million (£17.8m) in venture capital from bigshots such as Intel Capital and Motorola.

Eyefluence’s software— secured by a substantial trove of patents— could be integrated in VR headsets like Google Cardboard, or AR devices like Google Glass, to enable interaction based on eye movements. That would add a whole new dimension to both gaming —think of scrolling through a game menu while keeping your hands on the joystick— and more technical applications.

As Marggraff himself explained in a 2015 interview with Time  magazine: “Imagine being able to do anything you can do with your finger on a smartphone or tablet, but only using your eyes. Navigating data, zooming on content, and getting information is much faster when you can instantly access it by looking at it.”

The move is only the latest sign of Google’s interest in the burgeoning twin fields of VR and AR: the tech giant is an undisputed  leader in the sector, and it will release its brand new VR platform Daydream in November.


Watch Jim Marggraff demonstrating Eyefluence’s tech early this year at the Augmented World Expo

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