January 19, 2019

HTC Unveils Vive Pro Eye with integrated eye-tracking at CES 2019

08 January 2019, 05:57 | Megan Pierce

HTC showed off a new consumer-friendly headset called the Vive Cosmo. HTC

HTC showed off a new consumer-friendly headset called the Vive Cosmo.                  HTC

HTC's Vive division has unveiled two new VR headsets dubbed the Vive Cosmos and the Vive Pro Eye at the company's press conference at CES 2019. The device is called the Vive Pro Eye, and it promises to bring higher-quality VR experiences, thanks to a technique called "foveated rendering". In other words, if the user is looking straight ahead, there's no reason to have the periphery in focus and rendering at full speed.

Both the HTC Vive Pro Eye and the HTC Vive Cosmos will be available later in 2019.

For now, HTC has stated that Cosmos requires not external trackers which means that the headset should be utilizing a method called inside-out tracking.

Eye-tracking technology is exactly what it sounds like: hardware baked into the device that monitors where the user looks within the virtual environment.

The eye tracking hardware enables new experiences and thus "your eyes are transformed into an intuitive controller and intention communicator, and the results are quickened reaction for games, insightful data collection and much more". The Taiwanese company has introduced a new variant of the Vive Pro known as the Vive Pro Eye. It lacks all the indentations of previous headsets used by the Lighthouse sensors to track the headset.

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Similar to other Vive headsets, Cosmos can be powered by a gaming PC.

Vive Cosmos will come with the debut of Vive Reality System, which offers "core software experiences for a new age of spatial computing".

Cosmos, which appears to be a middle-of-the range headset, will be HTC's third line of Vive-branded headsets, following the Vive (and Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye) and Vive Focus.

Additionally, enterprise customers can use eye tracking to better train and evaluate users. It announced a new VivePort Infinity plan, which it says is the world's first "infinite VR subscription". HTC must be just teasing us intending to go forward with a proper launch at a later event.

"We found that over 85 percent 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, general manager of HTC Vive in the Americas.

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