SensoMotoric Instruments

Apple has quietly bought SensoMotoric Instruments, a German maker of eye-tracking glasses.

The deal was first reported by MacRumors, and Apple essentially confirmed the deal, offering the standard statement it gives when it buys companies. Founded in 1991, SMI does work in mobile eye tracking as well as for augmented and virtual reality, according to its website.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple representative said in a statement to Axios.

Why it matters: The deal could help Apple with its efforts in augmented and virtual reality. The company is building augmented reality tools for developers into iOS 11, the next version of the iPhone and iPad operating system.

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