Eyeware raises $1.9m to bring eye-tracking tech to consumer applications

3D eye-tracking startup Eyeware has closed a CHF1.9M ($1.9m/£1.4m) funding round. The seed round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), in partnership with TRUMPF Venture, Swiss Startup Group, and Zurich Kantonalbank.

Eyeware is a spin-off of Idiap Research Institute and EPFL. Founded in September 2016, it develops software that enables consumer devices, cars and robots with 3D cameras to sense and analyze the attention of users.

The company has collaborated with multiple industrial partners to prototype and develop innovative eye tracking applications. One of the projects presented publicly is the BionicWorkplace: a concept for a futuristic factory workplace containing a collaborative robotic arm developed by the German corporate Festo and presented at the Hannover Messe 2018.

More recently, Eyeware technology was presented as part of an automotive solution during CES 2019. Eyeware software can use autograde time-of-flight cameras to estimate attention of drivers for in-cabin monitoring and infotainment systems. The proposed system can contribute to reducing the number of road accidents caused by drivers who lose attention at the wheel.

The funding will be used to bring the 3D eye tracking development kit ready for integration into consumer applications. Eyeware is also looking to expand its corporate partnerships in the US and China.

Eyeware CEO and founder Dr. Kenneth Funes said: “Our vision is to enable communication with machines in a natural and intuitive way, just like you would with a friend standing in front of you. Eye tracking and attention sensing is a game changing technology for human-machine communication, as it will make interaction with our devices faster, more intuitive and more accessible.
“Eyeware technology is the result of intensive research, and we are confident to be opening the doors for exciting new opportunities in eye tracking applications for daily use. We have been extremely fortunate to receive the support of a well-connected and experienced group of investors that shares our vision and is committed to work with us to achieve it.”