Eye-tracking hardware manufacturer Tobii Technology has secured $21 million in a new funding round led by Intel Capital. Tobii declined to detail the extent of Intel's contribution, saying only that it joins a number of venture capital firms already invested in the company. As part of the deal, Ian Cooper, Investment Director at Intel Capital, will join Tobii's board. The funding will go towards accelerating and expanding research and development of eye-tracking hardware and software. Joel Fisch, Director of Business Development at Intel’s Architecture Development Group, explains the company's reason for investing:
"Eye-gaze tracking holds great promise as a novel method for user/machine interaction. Working closely with Tobii, we hope to bring the benefit of this new technology to personal computing"
We've been following the progress of Tobii and its eye-tracking system for some time now. At CeBIT, the GM of the company's German division told Vlad Savov that the technology was two to three years away from integration with mass-market consumer products, provided Tobii finds the right partners. It's safe to say that Intel is exactly the sort of partner it needs to help push its hardware into mainstream applications.