By: Nick Gambino
The HTC Vive Pro Eye VR headset has finally hit the U.S. and Canada after launching in Europe and China in May.
Able to track the movement of your eye, the HTC Vive Pro Eye embraces what’s easily the next giant leap forward for virtual reality tech. Eye-tracking is crucial to adding another layer of reality by allowing you to tell the headset where you’re looking without having to move your entire head.
It offers a lot more than just the ability to control the environment or experience with your eyes but also higher quality imagery with a lot less processing power. It uses foveated rendering to make the stuff you’re focusing on high-res while expending considerably less effort on those things in your peripheral. Again, this is probably closer to what we experience in reality as the things we’re directly focused on are usually more…in focus.
HTC seems to be primarily targeting enterprises with their new headset and all it has to offer, including things like driving simulations, training public speakers, etc.
“Arguably the most important element of communication is eye contact,” Ovation CEO, Jeff Marshall, said in an HTC blog post. “With the Vive Pro Eye, Ovation can actively guide improvement by measuring and providing feedback on where exactly users are distributing their eye contact throughout a speech. Our virtual venues come to life as individual audience members can react with various animations when a user makes direct eye contact with them.”
Owing to the fact that the HTC Vive Pro Eye attempts to appeal to enterprises rather than the individual user, they have priced it at a hefty figure. To get your hands on one of these bad boys you’re going to have to cough up $1599. A cheaper option might be to buy two iPhones, glue them together and tape the DIY VR headset to your face.
But despite the modestly high price tag, there’s no denying the need for eye-tracking technology and its use in elevating the VR experience.