Eye-Tracking VR Offers Key Advantages for Business
HTC’s Vive Pro Eye will disrupt the VR industry with its built-in eye-tracking hardware. It offers distinct advantages for businesses.
By Kevin Carbotte
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest electronics trade show and every year companies from around the world attend the event to show off their upcoming devices. Being developers in the immersive technology space, we were particularly interested in the new trends in virtual reality and augmented reality.
This year, HTC held a press event ahead of CES, in which it revealed a handful of Vive-branded products. HTC is one of the leading companies in the virtual reality industry, and it is one of the few VR hardware makers that is thinking about the enterprise market as much or more than the consumer market.
New Headsets on the Horizon
Naturally, we were excited to learn about HTC’s upcoming product line. In past years at CES, it revealed the HTC Vive headset, the Vive Pro enterprise-level headset, the Vive Tracker accessory platform, and the Vive Wireless Adapters. This year, the company announced two new headsets, including a new consumer-targeted device called the Vive Cosmos.
Eye-tracking in VR
Interacting With Software With Your Eyes
The most obvious advantage to eye-tracking technology is the ability to interact with software without required physical input from your hands.
Gaze-based menu systems allow you to interact with software with a simple glance, which frees your hands for other tasks, which can be particularly useful in training simulations like the ones we build here at BSD.
For example, we built a welding training simulation for one of our clients and we fashioned a peripheral to go along with it. Unfortunately, the peripheral doesn’t include a button, so the user must switch between a controller and our custom device to start the training application.
With an eye-tracking system, you wouldn’t need to switch between the wand controller and our welding prop to launch the simulation.
Advanced Metrics Analysis
Eye-tracking hardware also enables developers to capture analytics data to study the effects of VR simulation applications. By looking at the eye-tracking data, we could determine what trainees pay attention to and when they shift their focus from one object to another.
OvationVR is using the Vive Pro Eye’s eye-tracking hardware in its public speaking VR simulation for exactly that purpose. The company uses the eye-tracking tech to analyze how much time speakers spend looking at the teleprompter instead of the audience they’re supposed to be speaking to.
Eye-Contact Brings Avatars to Life
Performance and Fidelity Improvements
At Bit Space Development, we’re not yet experimenting with Foveated Rendering. However, other development firms are, and they are excited about what this new technology brings to the table. A company called ZeroLight is working on an automotive visualization tool, and thanks to the Vive Pro Eye’s built-in eye-tracking technology, the company is able to render its application at 9x the resolution of the headset, to produce a vivid and crisp image.
We look forward to what we can do with this tech once we get our hands on Vive’s new headset.