Thursday, 24 January, 2019

HTC Unveils Vive Pro Eye with integrated eye-tracking at CES 2019

No Caption Provided HTC Announces Vive Cosmos, A VR Headset That Can Seemingly be Powered by Your Phone
Sandy Mccarthy | 08 January, 2019, 11:41

The HTC Vive press conference at CES 2019 has certainly been memorable thanks to the unveiling of the Vive Pro Eye and the Vive Cosmos headsets.

The last thing I was expecting to come out of this year's CES was another virtual reality headset, but here you go.

The company announced two brand new headsets: the HTC Pro Eye and the HTC Cosmos.

The system is still in development, with HTC Vive saying that it "includes both operational and experiential elements" created to impact its entire portfolio.

The most notable product announcement is the HTC Vive Pro Eye (shown above), an upgraded version of its popular Vive Pro.

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Eye tracking can also be used in place of handheld controllers. Some key benefits mentioned potential using the Eye include better product design and user research, better accessibility, increased speed of VR interactions and more efficient CPU and GPU usage.

Since the Vive Pro Eye will track eye movements, it can optimize the virtual world in reaction to a user's focus. I got to try out the game myself and the eye tracking worked pretty much as expected, though it was only available with the in-game menus - the gameplay itself still required a controller, which in this case was mounted on a plastic bat. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example.

"We found that over 85 percent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", said Daniel O'Brien, general manager of HTC Vive in the Americas.

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. As the name suggests, this new headset is bringing eye integration into the mix, improving performance for both the company and consumers. Pricepoint, release date (although 2019 is planned), and other vital information have yet to be given, although HTC says they'll share more down the road. On the Cosmos website, HTC also said Cosmos will have an "ever-increasing suite of modular customisations".

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