Eye-tracking Vive VR headset headlines HTC's CES 2019 showcase


HTC's virtual reality division, Vive, has announced new high-end tethered and self-contained virtual reality devices, the Vive Pro Eye and Vive Cosmos respectively, along with new software offerings including an all-you-can-eat software subscription.

The company unveiled a new Vive Pro Eye headset, which has eye tracking features built directly in, eliminating the need for external controllers. The images in the user's peripheral vision are rendered at a lower quality, which doesn't impact the experience due to the way the human eye works.

The Vive Pro Eye is a brand new headset coming from HTC that looks nearly identical to the Pro.

In a surprise announcement, HTC also announced the Vive Cosmos, the company's next-generation VR headset.

The back of the HTC Vive Pro Eye headset
The back of the HTC Vive Pro Eye

Virtual reality is taking off in a big way. In its press release, HTC provides further hints that the HMD has "the capability to be powered by more than a traditional gaming PC". "There's so much more to Vive Cosmos", HTC said in a tweet, "[and] we'll be sharing more details soon on this exciting new VR kit".

Eye tracking can also be used in place of handheld controllers. 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. As the name suggests, this new headset is bringing eye integration into the mix, improving performance for both the company and consumers. The Vive Pro Eye has a similar design as last year's Vive Pro, though it's gotten upgrades under the hood to incorporate eye tracking.

"Many industries are adopting XR technologies for a wide range of uses, including training simulations, virtual concierge services, enhanced online shopping experiences, virtual tours, and more", said Kyle Roche, General Manager, Amazon Sumerian, AWS. Pricing and availability of the new Vive Cosmos is yet to be made official. HTC must be just teasing us intending to go forward with a proper launch at a later event.

Partners for the HTC Vive Pro Eye already include the Major League Baseball, among others. It announced a new VivePort Infinity plan, which it says is the world's first "infinite VR subscription".

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