HTC's new Vive Pro Eye headset features built-in eye tracking

HTC's new Vive Pro Eye headset features built-in eye tracking

Eventually, the Vive Reality System will power all of HTC Vive's hardware products, with the first being Vive Cosmos which is slated for launch by the end of 2019.

Since the Vive Pro Eye will track eye movements, it can optimize the virtual world in reaction to a user's focus. Plus, it comes with a flip-up design, so you can swap between reality and virtual reality instantly. The device is called the Vive Pro Eye, and it promises to bring higher-quality VR experiences, thanks to a technique called "foveated rendering".

Instead of using hand controllers to navigate content, the headset uses "gaze-oriented menu navigation". Sporting the deep blue of the Vive Pro and Eye, the Cosmo looks familiar and foreign from anything HTC has previously released. So no matter where you look you're always getting a sharp image. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example. The accompanying bumpf doesn't really make things any clearer, but it sounds like a new interface and tutorial system that will presumably do a better job of easing people into VR than the Vive does now.

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Following last year's introduction of the Vive Pro for business customers, HTC today unveiled the HTC Vive Pro Eye, a headset with integrated eye tracking. Unlike the HTC Vive Pro, the Vive Cosmos features a simpler setup, removing the need for an external base station and including the ability to attach to a wider range of PCs.

Admittedly, we don't know much more about the Vive Cosmos than that at the moment. In the meantime, I'm going to continue being rather excited about a VR headset that uses eye-tracking. "We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts". Dan O'Brien, HTC Vive's GM of Americas, says the Vive Pro Eye came about because developers were asking to do more.

The Cosmos, which will run a new platform called "Vive Reality System", is meant to be a more approachable type of headset than what HTC has typically offered. HTC did not disclose pricing for any of these new announcements.

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