You know it’s funny, my iPhone shuffled to the Rocky theme song right as I sat down to begin writing this article – and it couldn’t be more apropos. Ever since racing past their $250k Kickstarter goal in four days FOVE has been steadily chugging along, sitting at a comfortable $440k at the time of writing this article. But today they are announcing a stretch goal that may push the Kickstarter even further – Lighthouse.
According to the company, once FOVE reaches the $700k milestone it will “pursue development integration of Valve’s Lighthouse technology into their developer kits, shipping in Spring 2016.” The company also announced today that they will support the OpenVR SDK and the Steam VR platform.
Says Yuka Kojima, FOVE’s CEO and co-founder, “Both of our companies are very excited about the applications of eye-tracking in VR and the support for SteamVR will bring a wealth of content to FOVE. We have strong confidence that FOVE can and will deliver a revolutionary experience in VR.”
Currently the FOVE headset only has head tracking, but the addition of the Lighthouse system would give FOVE full room scale tracking capability which, in addition to it’s eye tracking capability, would make it far more than just an acquisition target – but rather an outright contender.
We have spoken before about the importance of eye tracking for VR – it is something that is vital to the immersiveness factor. I recently had the chance to try AltspaceVR’s eye tracking demo at AWE and I was blown away by how much even simple integration added to the experience. From the way it changed the conversation – adding much more non verbal communication – to how efficient it made interacting with the UI, eye tracking makes a big difference in VR.
We will continue to follow FOVE as they make their push through the last 17 days of their Kickstarter. We will be sure to update you if they cross the big stretch goal mark.