HTC Announces New Vive Hardware Including HMD with Eye Tracking

HTC Announces New Vive Hardware Including HMD with Eye Tracking

The Vive Pro Eye from HTC will incorporate the use of eye tracking technology.

Also announced was Viveport Infinity, a change to the Viveport subscription model. Commercially seen for the first time in conjunction with Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) headsets, at CES 2019 this week VRFocus came across the prototype pair of controllers for HTC's standalone headset, Vive Focus. Not only that, but eye-tracking also makes way for foveated rendering, which is just a fancy terms that means VR is about to get more gorgeous graphics. The Vive Pro Eye left us feeling it's geared towards business and commercial use, not gamers.

On the other hand, HTC Vive Pro Eye is pretty much similar to the Cosmos VR headset, also boasting dual front-facing cameras, but it implements the eye-tracking tech. It is created to facilitate the experience of interaction with the VR helmet since the beginning of its use. The idea is simply that the headset can track your eye movements, which can then be used to activate menu and navigation controls. This week at CES 2019, Major League Baseball (MLB) debuted the Vive Pro Eye by integrating the eye tracking into the "MLB Home Run Derby VR" video game experience.

The Vive Pro Eye is due to launch in the second quarter of 2019. Launching on April 5, VivePort Infinity will allow users to sign up and gain instant access to more than 500 titles in the store.

The headset will allow to abandon the use of base stations, thanks to six built-in cameras.

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While there's now no information about how much the headset will cost, what its full capabilities are, or when it will be released, HTC said it would be "coming soon", with development kits to be offered sometime in early 2019.

"We found that over 85% of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", said Daniel O'Brien, GM, Americas, HTC Vive.

"The tools and environments that make up Vive Reality System aim to make spatial computing accessible to everyone, wherever their journey into immersive worlds takes them", said Drew Bamford, vice president, Creative Labs at HTC Vive.

The Vive Reality System will power experiences across the entire Vive product portfolio and will be available first on the Vive Cosmos when they are released later this year.