Eyefluence raises $14M for eye-popping eye-tracking technology for VR

Eyefluence has an eye-popping technology straight out of science fiction. The Silicon Valley startup company is announcing it has raised $14 million for its eye-tracking technology that lets you use the gaze of your eyes to control augmented reality and virtual reality devices.
The company hopes to position itself as an essential user-interface tool for controlling AR glasses and VR headsets, which are expected to be a $150 billion industry by 2020, according to tech advisor Digi-Capital. Right now, it has prototypes that it hopes to license to some very large companies that could build products around the technology.
The technology comes from researchers and serial entrepreneur Jim Margraff, who created Livescribe, the smart pen company that was recently acquired by Anoto. But in contrast to other eye-tracking technologies that have recently been announced, Eyefluence has taken a deep dive into figuring out how the eye works and how we can read intent in where the eye is focused.
“We can do anything with your eye that you can do with fingers on a smartphone or tablet,” Margraff said in an interview with VentureBeat at the recent Intel Capital Global Summit. “It’s all about gauging your intent and what you want to control with your eye.”
Rivals include Tobii, which has worked with SteelSeries to create a game-control product. Sony’s PlayStation Magic Lab has also shown off eye-tracking controls for its games.
The challenge of using eyes to control something is very difficult, as you can’t do anything that fatigues the eyes. You also have to re-acquire the location of the eyes if someone looks away from a computer or a screen.