Today at HTC's CES 2019 press conference, the company dropped major news about two new headsets: The HTC Vive Cosmos and the HTC Vive Pro Eye. While the Cosmos features inside-out tracking, the HTC Vive Pro Eye brings you "foveated rendering" to change the way you'll look at games and apps in virtual reality (VR) forever.
Other than these two exciting headsets, we're also here to tell you all about Viveport Infinity. This is HTC's new take on a monthly subscription when it comes to VR gaming. The benefits already seem better than what the standard Viveport subscription offers.
HTC Vive Pro Eye
#HTCVIVEPROEYE integrates eye tracking natively & will offer greater accessibility, gaze-oriented menu navigation & removing the need for controllers. #HTCVIVE pic.twitter.com/QTAWOgElIW#HTCVIVEPROEYE integrates eye tracking natively & will offer greater accessibility, gaze-oriented menu navigation & removing the need for controllers. #HTCVIVE pic.twitter.com/QTAWOgElIW— HTC VIVE (@htcvive) January 7, 2019January 7, 2019
The Vive Pro Eye is a brand new headset coming from HTC that looks almost identical to the Pro. The newest feature is the use of foveated rendering to give you a better visual quality inside of your VR headset. What is foveated rendering? Instead of your image being locked on the center of the screen, it'll follow wherever you look! That's right. This headset tracks your eye movements.
It will do this by rendering your images to where you're actually looking as opposed to the standard way headsets work. That means that no matter what direction your eyes are looking on the screen, you will always be seeing a sharp image instead of having to turn your head and keep your eyes locked forward. This isn't just going to help by removing the need for controllers. It should improve the graphics quality of your focus and give you a better sense of immersion in VR.
There is an odd catch. While it's really cool that the headset can track your eye movement, it will also be able to collect the information of what you're looking at. This information is going to be used for data and analytics, which certainly has its ups and downs. Until we have more information on how that data is going to be used and dispensed, I'm going to keep a hopeful mind about it. In the meantime, I'm going to continue being rather excited about a VR headset that uses eye-tracking. Be sure to stay tuned in to Windows Central for more updates about all the news around HTC Vive!
Introducing Viveport Infinity
With Vive Infinity you'll have access to more than 500 games AND apps rather than the usual five to 60 you get with Viveport Subscription. There haven't been any updates on pricing yet, but it will be supported with the Vive, Rift, and Focus. It should be available as early as April 5, 2019.
What are your thoughts?
What is the most exciting news you've heard so far during CES 2019? How do you feel about the new Vive Pro Eye and Vive Infinity? Tell us all your thoughts in the comment section below!
Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.
I think the Oculus Quest is really the headset to watch right now, since it's set to change up the market and appeal to a new class of potential customers, but I do wish Oculus would develop a high end Vive Pro competitor.
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