Social media giant Meta is weighing whether to buy AdHawk Microsystems, which develops eye-tracking technology that could be used for virtual reality, Bloomberg reported Monday (July 25), quoting unnamed sources.
The reason for the takeover is that Meta is still looking into ambitious plans for virtual and augmented reality. The Facebook parent is the leading seller for VR headsets, and it has plans to use those for its plans for a metaverse, a collection of interconnected online worlds.
In an email early Tuesday to PYMNTS, a Meta spokesperson declined to comment: “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
AdHawk’s work includes MindLink, smart glasses that can track users’ eye movements to get information on behavior and neurological health.
The company said its services differ from other eye-trackers because it’s a compact system that isn’t a camera to track eye movements – and it’s more accurate for use in the field, able to capture hundreds of high-quality data points per second.
The glasses are $10,000 and are designed for research rather than consumers, but could be useful for Meta’s purposes and for other companies that want to add services for virtual reality glasses.
AdHawk has worked with Moelis & Co., an investment bank, and has been fielding interest from various suitors including Meta, sources told Bloomberg.
Meta is looking at making a formal offer soon, the sources said.
Meta may not end up bidding at all, and AdHawk could end up staying independent. And as there are at least four other companies reportedly interested, AdHawk might end up getting more funding, the report said.
AdHawk did not respond to a request for comment from PYMNTS.
PYMNTS wrote that Meta, among around three dozen other companies including Microsoft and Alibaba, announced an organization, the Metaverse Standards Forum, to help apply standards for the metaverse.
The intent is to prevent the metaverse from becoming incompatible as a series of disparate virtual worlds.