HTC Vive Pro Eye hands-on: first VR headset with eye tracking

HTC Vive Pro Eye hands-on: first VR headset with eye tracking

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. A visual technique known as "foveated rendering" is leveraged to render sharp images around wherever the human eye is focused on during a virtual scene, and correspondingly reduces the image quality around the peripheral vision.

Through the collaboration, Firefox Reality will be pre-installed as the default browser on HTC Vive devices. This is in contrast to the existing roster of VR headsets like the HTC Vive Pro and the Oculus Rift. Both the VR headsets are targeted at a different set of users. Other than that, the Vive Pro Eye has all the same specs that the Vive Pro does.

HTC has also introduced the new Vive Cosmos premium PC virtual reality headset and system equipped with the new Vive tracking system and Real RGB displays. Why not explain why, when the brand has just told us that it's added 1,000 new games this year, we're only able to access 500 of them?

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In addition to the subscription, HTC opened the doors and announced its next VR headset, HTC Cosmos.

The Vive Cosmos is the other new VR headset unveiled by HTC which has a more mass-market appeal to it and is designed easily of use and module-based customization in mind. It seems like a flawless fit for HTC's new flagship, not an also-ran like the Vive Pro Eye. If Vive can learn anything from Oculus, however, the controllers are the right place to start.

HTC had filed a trademark a year ago for the name "Vive Cosmos" and speculations were made that this might show up at CES.

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Although HTC has focused on VR business in a bid to offset the weakness of its smartphone operations, those efforts have failed to boost the company's sales as the VR division accounts for only a small fraction of its revenue, analysts said.

The Vive Pro eye is a new variation of HTC's high-end Vive Pro virtual reality headset. But if VR is going to become a true consumer technology it needs to be viable for all kinds of people at all kinds of price points for all kinds of uses. HTC is a bit mysterious about it but it pretty much looks like a new virtual world you can "walk" into to experience other virtual worlds. HTC must be just teasing us intending to go forward with a proper launch at a later event.

The Quest is releasing in Q1 of 2019, and my gut feeling is that the Cosmos will not be ready so quickly.

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