Find: VR headset company Fove is betting on eye tracking to compete

VR headset company Fove is betting on eye tracking to compete
// Ars Technica

SAN FRANSCISO—At a Kickstarter launch party in a swanky downtown hotel, employees and friends of year-old company Fove milled about, ready to talk to anyone and everyone about their contributions to a new virtual reality headset. VR headsets are old news at this point—Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony’s Project Morpheus have all run the press gamut a few times over. But Fove wants to leapfrog the traditional players by coming to the starting line with something that none of those incumbents have (at least thus far): an eye-tracking system.

Fove says the eye-tracking system will eventually allow for foveated rendering—a cutting-edge way of reducing the processing demands of VR headsets by generating a high-resolution image only for the immediate area that a player is looking at, allowing peripheral areas to be rendered with less definition.

Fove just met its Kickstarter goal of $250,000, which it will use to produce an SDK headset with a 5.8 inch display with 2560x1440 resolution, and a 0.8 pound weight. What sets it apart, though, are the infrared sensors that bounce IR light off the user's retinas, to measure the distance between the eyes and the direction they're each pointing. Kickstarter backers have been able to secure development headsets for between $300 and $400, and Fove aims to ship by Spring 2016. The development platform will integrate content from Unity, Unreal Engine, and eventually Cryengine.

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