The popular virtual reality (VR) company Oculus recently bought a tiny tech start-up called The Eye Tribe. While representatives from Oculus confirmed the purchase of this small European tech start-up, they wouldn't release any more details on the cost of the purchase or on how many employees from The Eye Tribe will move to Oculus' headquarters.
The Eye Tribe focuses on eye control and eye tracking technology for consumer devices. It currently has 16 full time employees in its Copenhagen headquarters.
This eye control company began at the IT University of Copenhagen. A group of four talented IT students met in 2007 and shared ideas about how to improve eye-tracking technology for the consumer market. And the rest, as they say, is history.
These four students became well known in the tech world within a few years. By 2011, the students bought the Internet Protocol (IP) from the University of Copenhagen. Later, the students officially formed The Eye Tribe and joined the StartupBootcamp program. Ever since that time, the workers at The Eye Tribe have been developing some of the latest and greatest software for accurate and affordable eye tracking.
People in the tech community are already speculating about what Oculus will do with The Eye Tribe's technology in their own VR headsets. A few of the obvious benefits eye tracking technology can have on the Oculus headset it to help people navigate their virtual dashboard with greater precision. People will no longer have to move their head around if the headset can follow where a person is directing his/her eyes.
This eye tracking software could also improve the quality of conversations people have using VR headsets. For example, fellow members of a group chat will be better able to see where a person is directing his/her gaze during a conference.
Finally, this technology could help Oculus and Facebook make even more money through advertising. If advertisers can track what ads are effective at grabbing a person's attention using data from eye tracking technology, this could help them make even more effective online ads.
Facebook currently makes most of its revenue via advertising, so eye tracking technology can only help their business model. Although ads are not in the VR world just yet, as VR headsets become more affordable around the world most investors believe advertisers will enter into VR devices.
As most people know, social media giant Facebook bought Oculus for a cool $2 billion in 2014. Ever since then, Oculus has becomes a global leader in the VR and augmented reality (AR) industries.
Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe founded Oculus VR in 2012 in California. The company still has its main headquarters in Menlo Park, California, with numerous secondary offices around the world.
The world-famous Mark Zuckerberg is still the CEO of Facebook. Facebook is also headquartered in Menlo Park, and it is now a publically traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol FB.