HTC Vive is coming out with an eye tracking device and it must be the first among its contemporaries to introduce this feature. Although we have seen something of this sort in the Fove VR headset but it is finally coming to a VR headset which is fully functional like the HTC Vive.
The device is released by a Chinese startup in collaboration with the Vive and they are going to start the pre-orders next month. It is going to be called and the aGlass and the first batch will be the developer kit and anyone could pre-order. The cost of the device is going to be around $220 and there are limited pre-orders that would be considered so you need to stay updated if you want to get your hands on one.
The eye trackers can be wired directly to the VR headset through the USB. There are two USB cords that are connected individually to each of the aGlass devices. These two cords are them combined and connected to the Vive’s port. The aGlass has two separate trackers that track the movements of your eyes.
The aGlass can increase the affordability of VR in future. This can be done with the help of the technology it supports called foveated rendering in which the software automatically decreases the intensity of the image of the places where you are not directly looking at which will give you a high-quality realistic VR experience. By maintaining the clarity of only the spots where the person is looking, this technology can help reduce power consumption.
This would result in increased frame rates and would immensely help to play games with better frames per second. The aGlass comes with a software that can enable the user to apply foveated rendering. This feature not only makes the VR gaming experience more realistic but it also makes it possible to run games using a relatively lower grade graphics card.
The graphics card that are used these days are pretty expensive and it is difficult to find a VR ready laptop that would be available under $1000. This technology could make the hardware needed for running the VR systems much more affordable and hence help in making the VR technology reach a wider audience by lowering the overall price.
Foveated rendering would really make VR much more realistic and the gaming experience immersive. Once the consumer version of this is released, I think there would be a lot of catching up for the other VR headsets in the league and the Vive might again get ahead of the Oculus in terms of quality(maybe).
Although buying this extension does look like an expensive affair but if Vive would come out with a bundle when it releases the consumer version, then there will be some hope(not really). Moreover, this extension enables you to use your VR headsets with an older graphics card from NVIDIA and it might be a great overall investment.
Let’s know what you think about this in the comment section below!