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Google's New Buy Will Let You Text with Your Eyes

Google has acquired eye tracking tech company Eyefluence, and while we naturally expect its new tech to revolutionize augmented and virtual reality as a part of the gaming experience, it could also to transform how we use mobile devices to consume and convey information.

The acquisition, announced Monday (Oct. 24), means that you may soon be able to use just your eyes to do everyday tasks like send text messages, shop, and browse through, zoom into and share photos, capabilities that Eyefluence demonstrated earlier this year. And you'd be able to perform these tasks just as fast as you can think and look.

Credit: Eyefluence

(Image credit: Eyefluence)

In order to quickly develop and refine its hardware, software and algorithms used in eye-tracking systems, Eyefluence developed tools that simulate how the brain and the eyes work together, the company explains. Eyefluence currently has more than 50 eye-tracking related patents, and more are on the way, the company says.

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While gaming has been a major focus for AR and VR developers, Eyefluence has been looking to much broader uses, like enterprise, industrial and consumer applications.

This past summer, MIT Technology Review reported that researchers have developed software that can track eye movement from mobile devices within the accuracy of a centimeter. That's not pin-point precise, but with Eyefluence's influence and Google's resources, we expect to see better precision combined with new capabilities, paving the way for an entirely new mobile experience.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.