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Apple Has Likely Acquired Computer Vision Specialist SensoMotoric Instruments

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Cupertino could be pushing into the smart glasses and virtual reality arena

Apple has reportedly acquired SensoMotoric Instruments, a computer vision specialist and a provider of eye tracking glasses and systems, potentially hinting at a foray for Apple into the realm of smart glasses. 

According to evidence compiled by MacRumours, legal activity discovered through a shell company and carried out by Apple attorney Gene Levoff all point towards Apple having acquired the German company. 

Apple tends to keep its acquisitions rather quiet and hide them among shell corporations maintain its mystique around new projects the Cupertino company could be working on. 

Apple eyeing up smart glasses

cecilia abadie google glass court caseIf the reports are accurate, then there is a strong chance that Apple could be looking to integrate more computer vision technology into its products and software. 

Virtual assistants that make use of machine learning techniques can benefit from computer vision, whereby trained algorithms can pick apart an image or camera feed and identify what it is in it then serve up data or take actions based upon the subject of the image or video feed. 

In effect, the acquisition  of SensoMotoric Instruments could lead to a smarter Siri and more computer vision based features in iOS and its native application ecosystem. 

At the same time, the purchase of SensoMotoric Instruments could see Apple use the firm’s eye tracking hardware to create its own head-mounted wearable technology, such as Google Glass style smart glasses or virtual and augmented reality headsets in the form of the Samsung Gear VR or the more advanced Microsoft HoloLens

Thus far, the only wearable Apple has produced it the Apple Watch, which has been met with some solid success; if Cupertino were to create a mobile virtual reality headset for its iPhone, then it would certainly have a large dedicated user base to tap into. 

Of course, this is all speculation and time will tell if Apple has definitely bought SensoMotoric Instruments, and if it will make its ambition for the company public or not; we would place our bets that Apple keeps firmly tight-lipped about the whole thing. 

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