The Eye Tribe, a Denmark-based eye-tracking startup, today confirmed they’ll be joining the ranks of Facebook’s Oculus VR.

Both Oculus and The Eye Tribe today confirmed the acquisition with TechCrunch‘s Josh Constine. The specifics of the acquisition are still fairly thin however. Is the company going straight to ex-CEO Brendan Iribe’s new PC VR team in Facebook? Is The Eye Tribe staying exclusively within Oculus? Is there much of a difference? We just can’t say for sure yet.

Founded in September 2011 by 4 former PhD students from the IT University of Copenhagen, The Eye Tribe has since raised $3 million in seed funding, and has also lead a $4.4 million government-supported project to bring eye control to the mass market together with LEGO, Serious Games, IT University of Copenhagen, and Technical University of Denmark. Presumably up until today the company has sold their Tracker Pro dev kit to anyone with $199.

The interesting part? The Eye Tribe has shown their eye-tracking technology working in a range of VR headsets including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Gear VR.

Having eye-tracking integrated into a VR headset doesn’t only potentially mean giving you the ability to control in-game objects with your eyes though. If you’ve been following VR for a while now, you’ve undoubtedly heard of foveated rendering, a technique for reducing the load on your graphics card by figuring out exactly where a user’s eyeball is looking. Foveated rendering is oft considered the next generation technology because it lets VR developers render where you’re looking at a higher fidelity, and render your peripheral view at a much lower fidelity, therefore letting your computer save on its overall graphics load.

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We’ll be following further news on The Eye Tribe/Oculus acquisition and updating as it comes in.

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  • Firestorm185

    Well hopefully this is one good step forward in the direction of foveated rendering headsets.

  • VR vendors are investing a lot in this technology… foveat rendering can be a game changer

    • user

      eye tracking is a game changer for facebook’s and google’s advertising customers ;)

  • OgreTactics

    Foveated Rendering makes a lot of sense not just for VR but real-time ray-traced graphics overall.

    I remember reading a quantum physics theoretically paper on photons/light coherence-decoherence saying that possibly, only the light “seen by an eye” or rather brain exist in coherence with light mechanics but in the same place the person/entity/camera is present all the light that is not seen at any moment or any portion is actually not “materialised”.

    In other CG terms, this means that possibly, even in nature only the “rays seen by the camera are traced”, potentially only to the exact amount seen by the brain. Well another occurence in which the universe and nature already has the best kind of optimisation to be inspired and copied from before we can do better, and I feel Foveated Rendering is an overall logical step in all graphic rendering considerations.