HTC’s Vive Pro headset is getting an eye-tracking upgrade. Meet Vive Pro Eye.
The news was announced at the company’s CES press conference in Las Vegas today. The Vive Pro Eye looks to be an upgrade to last year’s Vive Pro. Pro itself improves upon the original Vive with an enhanced display and integrated audio. Speaking on-stage, HTC’s Dan O’Brien made it clear this was very much an enterprise-grade product. That’s not surprising given that the Vive Pro itself ended up being classed as a ‘prosumer’ headset thanks to a $799 entry price. HTC introduced the device alongside some new apps that are already using the feature, some of which will be on display at CES today.
Eye-tracking is a popular topic in VR. As HTC points out, it can be used as a means of control using gaze-based interaction. More importantly, though, HTC confirmed this will enable foveated rendering. This refers to VR apps fully rendering only the part of a display the headset knows the user is looking at. The rest of the display is blurred slightly (which isn’t noticeable to the user) and takes pressure off of the PC powering the headset.
We don’t yet know exactly how Vive Pro Eye will arrive but it’s described as ‘integrated’ eye-tracking. That almost certainly means it’s a brand new headset.
We don’t have a price or release date yet but stay tuned. We’ll try and get those details and hands-on impressions as soon as possible. Meanwhile, look out for more news from HTC’s CES 2019 press conference.