Facebook has acquired The Eye Tribe, a startup that is working on software that tracks the eye movements of the wearer of a virtual reality headset.
The acquisition, for which the price has not been revealed, was made to benefit the social media company's Oculus virtual reality unit and the Oculus Rift system.
The Development Of Virtual Reality
Today's virtual reality systems have gone a long way in creating immersive experiences for users, with visual and sound effects that transport wearers of virtual reality headsets into other places and dimensions.
To further improve the virtual reality experience that if offers, Oculus was recently able to finally release the Oculus Touch. The accessories function as motion controllers that enhance the Oculus Rift by making virtual reality more engaging for users.
One lacking area for the Oculus Rift, or for any other virtual reality headset, is interactivity, as this is based on how well the system monitors users and reads their intentions.
For a virtual reality system to become more convincing, it has to be able to follow where the user's eyes are looking towards within the virtual reality world. This would be where The Eye Tribe comes in.
How The Eye Tribe Will Help The Oculus Rift
The Eye Tribe has created $99 developer kits for eye-tracking devices, along with software which will enable interfaces on smartphones and virtual reality headsets that are based on the gaze of the user.
The startup has also created a foveated rendering technology, which makes things easier for virtual reality systems as they will only be generating perfect graphics for where the user is looking.
Among the applications of The Eye Tribe's technology, once incorporated in the Oculus Rift, include automatically scrolling text based on how far the user has read, providing eye-based commands for software, and making avatars more life-like by following the user's eye movements.
The Future Of The Eye Tribe With Oculus
In addition to the price of Facebook's acquisition for the startup, details on the future of The Eye Tribe have remained scarce. There have been no announcements on the changes that will be coming to the eye-tracking technology company, as well as on the timeline for the integration of the technology into the Oculus Rift.
While users wait for eye-tracking technology to come to the Oculus Rift, the can checkout the five best games for the virtual reality headset, which is now more affordable due to the rollout of the Asynchronous Spacewarp feature that allows the Oculus Rift to be supported by PCs as cheap as $500.