HTC is giving its high-end enterprise-focused Vive Pro VR headset a feature bump in the next few months that’s focused on eye-tracking.
The company has certainly been having some financial struggles recently, those issues have seemed to force the company to more firmly fix its VR efforts on enterprise markets while loosely aiming to court consumers that aren’t scared away by the higher price point.
What does eye-tracking in a VR headset enable? Well, a few things actually. The most talked about technology is called foveated rendering which basically aims to reduce how much of a VR scene one’s computer has to render at full resolution by tracking where your gaze is. This can greatly reduce system requirements if you’re sporting headsets with insanely high resolutions. It doesn’t seem like this is the focus of this HTC product — at least right now — rather HTC seems to be focusing on utilizing eye-tracking as an input method for making quicker menu selections.
It’s certainly a nice thing to have in a headset, and something that has long been expected to be an included feature in next-gen headsets. HTC’s standard Vive actually had support for an eye-tracking add-on from a ViveX portfolio company called 7invensun. That being said, eye-tracking that isn’t being used to support a ludicrously high-res display probably isn’t that much of a system seller and it’s a little odd that they would ship such an iterative product.
No details on pricing but the product is slated to ship in April, the company says.