Eye tracking adds an extra dimension to one’s VR experience. According to a recent announcement, the HTC Vive will receive a plug and play upgrade which will introduce Eye tracking to the headset. According to UploadVR, the kit priced at $220 will first start shipping in China in May.
What is quite interesting about this new addon is that it could effectively decrease the GPU requirements needed to experience VR in HD. Using a technique called foveated rendering, the eye tracking technology will be used to know where to fully render assets, and where to keep the images relatively blurry (just like in real life).
The Chinese startup 7invensun is behind the new module – dubbed aGlass. While only available in China in May, it will ship internationally by Q3 2017. These eye trackers can be placed manually inside the Vive headset by the average Joe. Furthermore, the plugin contains separate USB chords and a USB combiner which make the upgrade seamless.
The way the trackers work is by using IR sensors to track the movement of your eyelids. As discussed in our comparison of Head Tracking vs Eye Tracking:
The technology uses the reflection of infrared light off the user’s eyes in order to track their line of sight.
Before the announcement, if one wanted an eye tracking display he would have to shell upwards of $500 for a specialized headset. With the recent announcement the Chinese startup just boosted the HTC Vive’s rankings over the Occulus, as it will be the first of the two to introduce eye tracking headsets to the average consumer.
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