Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
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HTC reveals Vive Pro Eye VR headset with built-in eye tracking

HTC reveals Vive Pro Eye VR headset with built-in eye tracking

The new hardware enables experiences that aren't possible without tracking the user's eyes, including gaze-oriented menu navigation and the ability to control the VR experience without using controllers.

The back of the HTC Vive Pro Eye headset. Foveated rendering uses eye tracking to increase the quality of the image where you're looking.

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The last thing I was expecting to come out of this year's CES was another virtual reality headset, but here you go. However, it is still a very young industry. Cosmos will require no external tracking when compared to other Vive headsets as the unit has cameras on the outside to track movement. This renders sharp images for wherever the human eye is looking in a virtual scene and reduces the image in the periphery.

Foveated rendering reduces the amount of computing resources that are needed to render a high-quality VR experience for the user. The world will flock to VR when you make the headsets easy to use, cheaper and less cumbersome, we have no doubt about that - but we need to believe that future is still on the way. Why not explain why, when the brand has just told us that it's added 1,000 new games this year, we're only able to access 500 of them? The accompanying bumpf doesn't really make things any clearer, but it sounds like a new interface and tutorial system that will presumably do a better job of easing people into VR than the Vive does now. For example, the VR software Lockheed Martin uses to train new pilots will use eye tracking to examine reaction times and focus. This isn't just going to help by removing the need for controllers. The Vive Cosmos will not feature eye tracking and will rely on handheld controllers.

The Vive Pro Eye wasn't the only new headset HTC showed off. HTC also teased an all-new headset called the Vive Cosmos. "We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts".

The Cosmos, which will run a new platform called "Vive Reality System", is meant to be a more approachable type of headset than what HTC has typically offered.

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