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Meta wants to win another AI startup-targeting eye-tracking technology

After changing its name in October, Meta has done several types of research on the Metaverse. According to Bloomberg, Meta plans to acquire Canadian AI startup AdHawk for AdHawk’s eye-tracking technology. Eye tracking technology is the key to meta planning to build the metaverse. In addition, this potential acquisition has the potential to drive meta technological advances in the areas of VR (Virtual Reality) / AR (Augmented Reality). Meta may make a formal offer to AdHawk within the next few weeks. However, there are reports that AdHawk is unlikely to accept the offer.

AdHawk is a company that develops eye tracking technology for VR / AR headsets. AdHawk has worked with investment bank Moelis in the hope of attracting investors. According to insiders, the company isn’t looking for a buyer. Rather, we are doing everything we can to attract more investors. Currently, in addition to Meta, at least four other companies are also interested in AdHawk.

This company is not a small company, so the bid must be very decent for it to even take into account. AdHawk is one of the top investors. There are companies such as Samsung Electronics, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. According to Crunchbase data, AdHawk has raised about $ 17 million.

Why is AdHawk so important?Here are some of its technological advances

1. Without a camera, AdHawk glasses capture hundreds of data points per second

AdHawk created a smart glass called MindLink. It can analyze a user’s neurological health by tracking the user’s eye movements and is priced at $ 10,000. Unlike other competing products, MindLink tracks user eye movements through a special energy-saving system rather than a camera, AdHawk said. The company also states that MindLink can capture hundreds of high-quality data points per second, and the system actually works well. With this technology, AR app developers can effectively improve their software by predicting the next focus of the user’s eyes.

2. Two purposes: medical and gaming – eye tracking technology is the key to VR / AR

AdHawk said MindLink’s line-of-sight tracking technology can be applied to health monitoring, gaming and other areas. In the medical and health fields, researchers use eye tracking techniques to analyze data such as eye movements, pupil size, and head movements to further study user anxiety, ADHD, tremors, epilepsy, and other illnesses. can. This technology can also be used to assess dyslexia and cognitive impairment. In addition, the technology can also provide a reference for eye tracking and neurological relationships, eye health, etc. through long-term analysis of eye tracking data.

The Metaverse allows researchers to use eye-tracking techniques to capture the trajectory of a user’s eye movements and accurately calculate which area of ​​the device screen the user’s eyes are in. That way, you can control screen scrolling, web browsing, gameplay, and more. Therefore, as the user moves his eyes, scrolling continues. By combining eye tracking and local rendering techniques, researchers can solve the problem of computer hardware not being able to meet the needs of high resolution rendering. In addition, eye tracking technology can capture the user’s emotions. It is based on changes in pupil size to determine if the video is attractive enough to the user.

AdHawk originally designed MindLink glasses for research, but they don’t sell them. However, for other companies working on meta and AR glasses, the underlying technology is valuable. Zuckerberg earlier pointed out in his interview that the next-generation VR headset, Quest, will focus on face and gaze tracking techniques. Palmer Luckey, founder of Meta’s Oculus company, states that eye tracking technology will be the “most important component” of VR technology.

3. MetaQuest Pro may have eye tracking technology

Meta plans to integrate eye tracking into its high-end MR (Mixed Reality) headset, MetaQuest Pro. Nonetheless, there are reports from insiders that Meta may combine this technology with cameras. In addition to Meta, Apple and Google are also developing their own AR glasses. The appearance of AR glasses is similar to regular glasses. This design makes it more convenient to use AR glasses on a daily basis. Meta has confirmed that it will launch its own AR glasses within the next few years. However, Google is a little ahead. Last week, the company announced that it was planning to conduct a small public test of its AR glasses.

In addition, there are reports that Apple plans to launch a high-end MR headset in 2023. However, Apple’s AR glasses can be delayed by a few years. This is due to the high system and power consumption requirements of AR glasses.

Conclusion: Meta adds line-of-sight tracking technology to enhance the layout of VR fields

The difficulty with eye-tracking technology is adapting to different eye conditions for millions of consumers, including sagging eyelids, eye deformity due to wearing eyeglasses, amblyopia, and astigmatism. For eye tracking technology to work well for all consumers, its solution must achieve high precision and accuracy in 95%, and even 99% of the population.

Since Facebook’s name was changed to Meta, the company has focused on technology research and development and ecological layout in the Metaverse space. If Meta succeeds in acquiring AdHawk and incorporates eye tracking technology into the latest next-generation MR headsets, it means there is a new breakthrough in Meta’s metaverse technology. Undoubtedly, the acquisition of AdHawk will help Meta enhance its layout in the VR space. However, it’s still unclear if AdHawk will consider an offer from Meta.