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Oculus just bought a company that tracks your eyeballs

by Todd Haselton | December 29, 2016December 29, 2016 2:30 pm PDT

Facebook-owned Oculus recently acquired a startup named The Eye Tribe. TechCrunch first broke the news but didn’t provide information on how much Oculus paid for the firm. The buy is big news for VR fans, especially considering Oculus probably bought The Eye Tribe in an effort to build its technology into future products.

The Eye Tribe’s tech allows a virtual reality headset to track a user’s eyeballs. That sort of functionality isn’t available in the Oculus Rift just yet, but it’s very exciting.

Imagine, for example, if a VR computer could recognize where exactly it is that you’re looking in a scene. In games, this could mean different actions play out, or that characters will be able to make eye contact. Or, as TechCrunch notes, it could allow the computer to render only what you’re looking at, saving on precious computing power, enabling advanced VR to run on much less powerful, perhaps even portable, headsets.

Oculus buys The Eye Tribe

It might take a while before we actually see The Eye Tribe’s tech filter down into something released by Oculus, but my guess is it’s going to lead to really exciting new advances. I’m curious what other firms will do to compete in the space. Perhaps this will help set Oculus apart from competitors, such as the HTC Vive.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...