Eye-tracking VR headset company, FOVE, is getting $11 million in a Series A round led by Japan-based COLOPL.
A Kickstarter campaign for FOVE last year raised nearly $500,000 and a development kit was expected to ship in May this year. An update in February said the device will ship in the fall. The money will help FOVE “accelerate mass production of the device” as well as strengthen the company’s R&D and “reinforce business support in VR content creation featuring eye-tracking technology.”
COLOPL launched a $50 million fund at the end of last year to invest in VR companies. Additional investors included Hon Hai venture capital fund, 2020, and Samsung Venture Investment.
If you’re wondering what’s so great about eye-tracking, besides foveated rendering, FOVE promises “pleasant and long VR experiences with minimal simulation sickness” and “a more natural image by blurring unfocused peripheral areas.” Being able to make eye-contact with other VR players sounds like an important feature as well.
The company had planned to include Valve’s Lighthouse technology for tracking positional movement with the headset but they’ve opted not to pursue that approach, saying “in order to avoid further delays we are making the painful decision to drop Lighthouse support for this Kickstarter release. We will instead integrate our own optical tracking solution.”
We’ll follow up as we learn more about FOVE.