Apple buying eye tracking technology

Apple buying eye tracking technology

Tobii LogoAlexander Haislip, journalist covering the entrepreneurial capital sector (private equity), recently reported on peHUB, a forum also specialized in the subject, that Apple would have bought an eye tracking technology from Tobii Technology.

The company is a world leader in hardware and solutions in this field. Its technology is normally offered for use in three specific areas:

  • Marketing and usability: to understand the behavior and response of consumers, widely used to evaluate websites, software, advertising campaigns, products and the like.
  • Scientific research: analyze cognitive processes, human behavior and visual attention. Used in human-computer interaction research, cognitive psychology, ophthalmology and neurophysiology.
  • Assistive technology: designed to help people with special needs. Control through the eyes allows communication and interaction with eye movements only.

Another possibility is to use it in OEM applications, that is, to be used in various industrial applications. But the technology can also be adapted for use in certain products of a company.

<img class = "lazy lazy-hidden aligncenter size-large wp-image-49473″ title=”Tobii integrated module” data-lazy-type=”image” src=”×315.jpg” alt=”Tobbi's integrated module” width=”550″ height=”315″ />

Creating a product that integrates technology can cost between $ 7,000 and $ 35,000 today. However, in theory, this cost can be reduced to the same cost of putting lenses in a digital camera. Getting a product with eye tracking to reach the market is a process that takes about three years.

Haislip believes that the technology will not appear on mobile devices anytime soon, but believes it could be used in the near future on top-of-the-line desktops and notebooks. It can be used, for example, for user-oriented applications, such as scrolling automatic according to what is read on the screen. Such a function can be very useful on a mobile device like a Kindle … Better to think of a Mac tablet, anyway?

How Apple uses this new technology is not at all clear. Improving your website and advertising campaigns? In the consumer study in your Apple Retail Stores? Studying the design of a new product or incorporating it into a new product? I really do not know, but I believe it is to research the consumer and their own products (including website and campaigns). And you, what do you think?