A paper trail of purchases through shell companies seems to indicate that Apple has secretly acquired German computer vision company SensoMotoric Instruments, MacRumors reports. On May 2, Apple’s vice president of corporate law Gene Levoff signed off on allowing a German law firm to buy SensoMotoric on behalf of Vineyard Capital Corporation — suspected to be a shell company. On June 16, SensoMotoric filed new articles of incorporation and subsequently removed more than a dozen pages that once featured information about its products, also deleting the site’s job listings and contact information, among other things.
A tipster claims to have information from an Apple employee confirming that Apple was behind the purchase, and a former SensoMotoric client is on record saying they’d been trying to get a hold of the company since the acquisition with no success. Since its founding in 1991, SensoMotoric Instruments has been developing eye tracking hardware and software that’s been used in automotive, medical and AR fields, among others. The company has developed eye tracking technology for headsets like the Oculus Rift and put together its own Eye Tracking Glasses, which can record a person’s gaze behavior in real time. How this fits into Apple’s ambitious plans for AR and/or the rumored glasses project is up in the air, but the company has many useful intellectual properties that could boost Apple’s projects on multiple fronts.