FACE­BOOK’S OCU­LUS ACQUIRES EYE TRIBE TO AID IN TRACK­ING

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Bloomberg News

Face­book’s Ocu­lus has ac­quired The Eye Tribe, a com­pany that tracks eye move­ment in vir­tual re­al­ity to im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ocu­lus con­firmed the ac­qui­si­tion of the Copen­hagen-based startup, with­out stat­ing a price. The ac­qui­si­tion was re­ported Wed­nes­day by TechCrunch.

Eye Tribe is the lat­est in a se­ries of tech ac­qui­si­tions this year for Ocu­lus. Face­book is es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in eye track­ing be­cause the com­pany wants to take the lead in so­cial in­ter­ac­tions in VR. The abil­ity to fol­low eye move­ment makes it eas­ier to un­der­stand peo­ple’s ex­pres­sions and let them com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively with one another in a vir­tual world.

For ex­am­ple, Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg is in­ter­ested in help­ing peo­ple watch bas­ket­ball games to­gether, have board meet­ings, travel to for­eign coun­tries and take self­ies in vir­tual re­al­ity.

Face­book isn’t alone in fo­cus­ing on the im­por­tance of eye track­ing to VR. Al­pha­bet Inc.’s Google ac­quired Eye­flu­ence, another startup work­ing on eye-track­ing tech­nol­ogy, in Oc­to­ber. The search gi­ant is in­vest­ing in vir­tual re­al­ity as it aims to in­te­grate its me­dia ser­vices, in­clud­ing YouTube and its app store, into the nascent tech­nol­ogy.

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