HTC took to the stage at CES 2019 to reveal not only eye-tracking technology for the prosumer Vive Pro headset, but an all-new headset dubbed the Vive Cosmos. The latest addition to the HTC VR headset range now attracts your eye movements and renders imagery to where you're actually looking as opposed to the standard VR headsets would render graphics.
Availability and price for the Vive Cosmos is expected to be revealed later this year, and developer kits should be made available in early 2019. From a user standpoint, games and apps could use your vision to make menus more intuitive.
With the eye-tracking hardware, the Vive Pro can be used to control using gaze-based interaction, HTC said.
Here's a first look at the Vive Cosmos.
The Cosmos also sports a flip-up design, so users can quickly and easily switch between the virtual world and their real-world environment. The Vive Cosmos looks like that more mainstream kind of headset. Firstly, it allows this headset to implement Foveated rendering. "By integrating eye tracking technology into Home Run Derby VR, we are able to transport this transformative baseball experience to any location without additional controllers needed". This partnership enables a truly optimized browsing experience in VR for quick and easy searches, access to their favorite websites in VR for shopping, researching, surfing, watching videos and more.
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And finally, HTC announced that it's partnering with Mozilla to make Firefox Reality the default browser on Vive headsets. Building on the already existing VIVE Pro, HTC is making a minor tweak that could have significant gains for its customers. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example. Other than that, the Vive Pro Eye has all the same specs that the Vive Pro does. This is what is known as "inside-out tracking", which is something Oculus is using on its upcoming Quest headset.
But no matter how great VR may be, we have to come back to reality sometime.
This is huge, because with the current status of VR content, once you're done playing games like Superhot VR, Moss in VR, and Fallout 4 VR, it often feels like there's not much left to do.
The Vive Reality System will power experiences across the entire Vive product portfolio and will be available first on the Vive Cosmos released later this year.
On the content front, HTC is upgrading its Viveport subscription service and will introduce Viveport Infiity on April 5.