In the process, the former gains a stake of 10% in the latterIntel is best known for its CPUs, but it is no small secret that it also has a habit of investing in ventures and inventions it considers worthwhile, like Tobii's eye-tracking technology.
Tobii is a 12-year-old Swedish company that, despite its age, hasn't exactly made many headlines so far because of its occupation.
Basically, it is focused almost exclusively in research and development, not seeking any sort of profitability.
In other words, it has no need to advertise its creations and ideas in front of the common man.
Instead, it is perfectly satisfied if IT companies and all other potential clients know about it and what it does.
Sure enough, Intel has accumulated interest in Tobii's activities, enough that it has invested $21 million in the company.
That translates into 16 million Euro, give or take, according to current exchange rates. Intel will gain a 10% stake in the company once the transaction is completed.
Tobii won Intel over thanks to its work on eye tracking technologies like the one used in the Lenovo notebook revealed at last year's CeBIT expo. What the mobile PC allowed was controlling various applications merely through eye movements.
The principle is the same as the one behind the Tobii ATI C15, which lets disabled people communicate using just their eyes.
Intel no doubt wants to incorporate eye tracking into its future processors, especially mobile ones, in order to gain an edge over ARM (probably).
For its part, Tobii will continue to research and develop its eye tracking products, eventually expanding to smaller consumer electronics, cars and anything else where eye movement could be relevant.
Hopefully, the technology will get cheaper in the meantime as well. After all, the PCEye technology (to give an example), which adds a sensor bar to a regular monitor, costs $7,000 / 5,354 Euro.