Earlier this year at CES, we got a first look at HTC’s latest foray into the world of virtual reality. Announced with a unique focal point, the HTC Vive Pro Eye tailors the company’s VR headset to an enterprise-specific market. Incorporating foveated rendering eye-tacking technology, OLED displays and improved economics, the new headset is now available for purchase. Head below for all of the details.
HTC brings foveated rendering to its VR headset
When we first took a look at the Vive Pro Eye, HTC had yet to showcase any real details on the headset. Certainly the most show-stopping part of the initial reveal was the new foveated rendering technique; a feature that monitored what your eye is actually looking at in the virtual scene.
One of the major advantages of incorporating foveated rendering is that it allows the Vive Pro Eye to reduce the image quality of graphics in your peripheral vision. This essentially means that it can offer higher-resolution visuals with less compute power. Eye-tracking also allows you to interact with the virtual reality headset without extra controllers being a necessity.
Now that HTC has officially released the new eye-tracking Vive Pro, we’re also getting a look at how it differs from the consumer-edition headset. It still sports the same 1440×1600 per eye resolution, dual 3.5-inch displays and a 90Hz refresh rate. Though there are of course some improvements to justifier the steeper price tag.
Right off the bat, there’s the highly-emphasized eye-tracking feature, as well as heat-mapping and gaze monitoring. HTC has swapped out the AMOLED displays in favor of OLED models. Plus there’s several ergonomic enhancements like improved headphone integration and more.
HTC Vive Pro Eye debuts with a steep price tag
HTC is also doubling down on its business-focus, stressing that the Vive Pro Eye is more ideal for non-consumer applications. Right now the company notes use-cases centered around training in hospitals and the like. That’s reflected in the pricing, with the new virtual reality headset entering a full $800 than its consumer-branded counterpart.
The headset itself will run you $1,599, with a starter kit entering at $2,149. Both options are now available for purchase direct from HTC, with the Vive Pro Eye said to be rolling out to additional retailers as well.
Given that HTC is playing off its new headset as a business-facing release, there’s not too much to be excited about here as of now. Enterprise customers will certainly benefit from the many enhancements, but virtual reality gamers won’t yet see any immediate benefits to the Vive Pro Eye.
Down the line, it’s likely that HTC will blend the two versions of Vive Pro into one; as in bringing this level of eye-tracking to a consumer product. So the company’s latest debut likely gives us an early glance at what we’ll see down the road in the gaming space.