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

November 25, 2019


– Hey, it’s Nick Statt with The Verge, and we’re here at HTC’s
CES press conference checking out all of its
Vive virtual reality news. Now they had a new headset to announce. It’s called the Vive Pro Eye. It’s got native built-in eye-tracking. Now that may sound kinda lame. I mean eye-tracking’s been kicking around the PC gaming space for a while, but in virtual reality it can be really, really huge actually both for A, accessibility for people who can’t use their hands, but also B, for what’s
called foveated rendering. Now that’s a technique that let’s you increase the resolution of an image by decreasing the
resolution of those images on the peripheral vision of
whoever’s using the VR headset. That way, when you’re
looking closely at something, it actually increases the
resolution of that virtual image. HTC actually has a whole different idea for the Vive Pro Eye. They imagine it would be really big for business use cases, so enterprise customers who wanna make specific apps that take
advantage of eye-tracking. So we get to try a few of those here at their press conference. The first one did not
use foveated rendering, but it did make use of eye-tracking. It was a motivational speaking or kind of a public
speaking demo called Ovation that tracked how you used your eyes while you were giving a speech
in front of a big crowd. So they did things like tracking how fast you were talking,
how slow you were talking, where you were looking at
while you were speaking, whether you were looking
right at the teleprompter or whether you were making
eye contact with equal sides of the left and the
right side of the room, and then afterwards it
gives you this big breakdown telling you how you were
doing, where you can improve, and a headset like the Vive Pro Eye really makes something like this possible. Without eye-tracking
you couldn’t really make a virtual reality app like this. It wouldn’t really make sense ’cause the data just wouldn’t be there. So another cool demo we tried
out here called Zero Light specifically showed off
the foveated rendering capabilities of the Vive Pro Eye. So it was a showroom app essentially. So you put on the Vive Pro, and you start selecting options for a car that you wanna maybe buy
potentially in the future. Once you’re actually in the car and you’re up close and personal with the steering wheel, the speedometer, the radio, things like that, the foveated rendering really
comes into clear picture. So they did a side-by-side comparison in real time while I
was wearing the headset. So on the left it was standard and on the right it had
foveated rendering enabled, and it was a huge night
and day difference. I could actually read
the text I was seeing. I could clearly look at
icons and the gear shift. I could read the speedometer,
things like that, whereas on the left in
the standard version it was all fuzzy. It kind of looked like I
wasn’t wearing my glasses. As for how well the eye-tracking works, well, it worked pretty seamlessly. You’re not really supposed to think about it while you’re doing it. You’re just supposed to
move your vision around, and usually there’s some
sort of visual input like a laser pointer or
a kind of like a heat map telling you where you’re looking. We had that in our demos here, and it seemed to work pretty flawlessly, and I could see how this could be a really huge feature for VR. Not just VR games, but
also these business apps, other things like that,
educational apps for sure. In terms of how the
eye-tracking actually functions, well, they put these rings inside of the goggles on the Vive Pro. So they’re on the outer rim, and you can see them pretty clearly when you’re putting the goggles on. You don’t really feel them while
you’re wearing the headset. The comfort level is the same. It feels just like the old Vive Pro that came out last year here at CES, and basically it just tracks where your retinas are moving as you’re looking through a scene using little pulses of light. They also haven’t said anything about pricing or availability beyond the fact that it’s coming in the second quarter of this year. So it is coming soon, but we just don’t know
how much it’s gonna cost. That said, if you wanna find out more information about the Vive Pro Eye or any of the other cool
products here at CES, keep it locked to The Verge on YouTube at youtube.com/theverge.

100 Comments

  • Reply Aphexx January 8, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Great Hoodie!

  • Reply Darkinator January 8, 2019 at 6:35 am

    When you can buy the eyetracking addon seperatly i gonna buy it. But im not BUYING a Vive Pro AGAIN just for Eye Tracking

  • Reply Odinson January 8, 2019 at 6:42 am

    I just ordered a Vive Pro! It better be upgradeable with this eye tracking and not force me to have to buy a whole new headset FFS! This is the real kind of game changer that should have been part of the Vive Pro package in the first place.

  • Reply Michigan Sunde January 8, 2019 at 6:49 am

    If this monstrosity is the only way for hobbyists / nobodies to develop eye-tracked VR software in 2019, then it will sell ludicrously well.

    Literally every headset in the future WILL have this feature. It's completely mandatory. I've just been waiting for anybody who'll actually sell it for cash-money instead of bogarting it behind elitist "Request Info" forms designed to weed-out loser "ethusiasts" or "wannabes" like myself. ?

  • Reply CEKROM January 8, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Interesting technology & the colour is also not bad =D

  • Reply domitry jobby January 8, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Can't wait to have one

  • Reply elevengiant January 8, 2019 at 7:25 am

    for beats saber???

  • Reply adamlee007 January 8, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Fail

  • Reply John Johansson January 8, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Did they improve the resolution of the screens too? That’s a dealbreaker for me.

  • Reply Yin Yang January 8, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Common HTC isn’t it time to go for transparent oiled screen?

  • Reply Catalepsy January 8, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Not the first eye tracking VR headset, Fove had this for a couple years

  • Reply Sidhanth Mekala January 8, 2019 at 8:59 am

    what if a person is cross eyed?

  • Reply Youtube Channel January 8, 2019 at 9:24 am

    They should have made the headphones earcups for over ear

  • Reply infirmux January 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

    this is perfect for everyone – HTC privides a developer kit, software developers and gfx card manufacturers prepare their software, then other VR headests (of versions) can just be launched with eye tracking included.

  • Reply wotever99ninynine Hamilton January 8, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Awesome news. Disappointing its not a completely new hmd though.. Is it same resolution/lenses? I take it the fov will be the same? Oh well, with foveated rendering and eye tracking it won't be long before truly great vr arrives. And with Nvidia rtx raytracing and dlss(deep learning super sampling) combined with foveated rendering we can finally have high resolution high fps damn near photo realistic vr.. We just need wide fov and truly high Res screens.. Oh and variable focus/depth.. Soon I hope.. Maybe Oculus rift 2..?

  • Reply Donghyun Lim January 8, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I thought they tracked eye movement like they track head movement. It would be awesome if they pull that off.

  • Reply Gonzalo Sanz January 8, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Loving that Aphex Twin hoodie ?

  • Reply Gabriel Dalposso January 8, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Fovea is actually the first VR HMD with eye tracking

  • Reply StarsideNews January 8, 2019 at 11:09 am

    so i have a vive pro will there be a way i can get this into my headset if not HTC is kinda losing me

  • Reply Youtubeman January 8, 2019 at 11:09 am

    what about FOVE?

  • Reply Hank Moody January 8, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    I love vr, but there is no content for it. The same old games. Vr is in it's infancy.

  • Reply FrostFinn123 January 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    That public speaking VR app is basically my nightmare

  • Reply Om Morendha January 8, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Enterprise uses of HTC vive ?

  • Reply Aaron G. January 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Will this mean that the older versions would be cheaper? I really wish we could get a vr headset with controllers for around 70 bucks.

  • Reply RazorbackPT January 8, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    How does Foveated rendering increase image quality? The screen still has the same amount of pixels. I thought the point of Foveated rendering was just to help performance.

  • Reply John Williams January 8, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Litearally stole the idea from Varjo.

  • Reply ツ Round UI January 8, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    3:28 : 3:42 Time to pay rent…lolz

  • Reply Person Person January 8, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    All I heard was 'we don't know how much it's going to cost'

  • Reply VladimirRussia29 January 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I think I should become an optometrist

  • Reply KY January 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Oculus is going to release their new VR for $400. HTC can't be to expensive compared to the oculus if they want to compete.

  • Reply Matt Lynch January 8, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Someday I can use eye tracking to line up headshots in csgo lol

  • Reply Gerard's Horticulture Culture January 8, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Cant wait to try it??

  • Reply NatWestc January 8, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I think eye tracking is a let down for HTC most people want bigger FOV and higher resolution first, then later eye tracking not now…

  • Reply RingoFreakingStarr January 8, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    It's great that we finally have at least one VR HMD that has eye tracking capabilities. Foveated rendering will be the gateway to HMDs that have enough pixels to make virtual desktop working possible while still allowing current hardware to run it. However…HTC really dropped the ball by only including the current Pro panels in this new VR HMD. Foveated rendering only gets that "wow" factor if you have a high resolution panel in the HMD. If they had put 4k panels in there with some apps that use foveated rendering, that would 100% be a game changer.

  • Reply Oscar Lee January 8, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    That car demo shows just how blurry VR is. The foveated view is better than standard, but still really terrible by normal monitor standards. I got a VR headset a few months ago and sold it within a week because of how low-res it was.

  • Reply Suraj Pradhan January 8, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I hope they move away from the crappy frenel lenses and upgrade the crappy headphones. The frenel lenses are horrible! Sweet spot is tiny and god rays are horrible. Probably the worst I have ever experienced. Hopefully they upgrade to the Gear VR lenses from the factory.

  • Reply Pultset January 8, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    You didn't ask them about the performance? How much more fps you get out of games?

  • Reply U Tubby January 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    The cable has to get the chop. I refuse to buy another HMD that requires a tether.

  • Reply Old Man Reactions! aka - Akira January 8, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    one day it will be immersive and not a cluster fudge.

  • Reply JoshTruff January 8, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    FOV rendering has nothing to do with clairity? Did they say their system was unable to render at high settings or at that SS rate? It only has to do with helping to gain better fps no? It should not be comparing detail it should be only comparing the same detail levels but one eye is rendering everything at that level and the other is only rendering from the center out. If you can't tell one is worse than the other (FOV should always be worse) then you have an actual test.

  • Reply Dalek LIVE January 8, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Business use huh?. So essentially this isn't the Vive pro second gen. This is Vive pro + at a more premium price.

    -_-

  • Reply mick2d2 January 8, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    It'll be interesting to see the price/performance of the Vive Pro Eye plus reasonably priced gfx card versus the price/performance of the Vive Pro plus ridiculously priced very high end gfx card.

  • Reply Tounsi Behi January 8, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Htc should just give up and die.

  • Reply NKPyo January 8, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    FOVE was the first VR headset with eye-tracking. The title is wrong. I'm pretty disappointed in the fresnel lens in this headset.

  • Reply João Serra January 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    good to finally see some optimization in something… but at what cost?

  • Reply csaba fajka January 8, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Valami baszott idegesítő hangod van.

  • Reply Frozenbizkit January 8, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Way to screw over your Vive Pro customers.

  • Reply Matt Noh January 8, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    I dont understand foviated rendering. It sounds like bullshit… Heres my logic..
    That screen you're viewing with is fully capable of rendering both sides of what you saw. You don't really change the reality of pixel density, with software. The quality of the game, maybe hindered by the processing power of whatever computer you were using, but it didn't seem like thats what you were talking about, you sound like you're talking about foviated rendering being some kind of magical software that made games clearer… Theres no way that game didn't already have that level of definition already, it was obvious foviated rendering merely acted as a crutch to processing power. This was not made clear whatsoever by this video.

  • Reply Bego Lu January 9, 2019 at 12:59 am

    problem of vr is control,, please make control easy used

  • Reply vacationboyvideos January 9, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Is the rtx 2060 nvidia good? I a thanking about getting that one…but not sure if it's all that powerful? I want it to be smooth on rv

  • Reply Harrison Hoffman January 9, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Still has wires? No thank you!

  • Reply Kenny Laysh January 9, 2019 at 3:56 am

    I don't know why it isn't just an addon for the current Vive Pro. From what I gather, it's the same headset, same lenses, just with eye tracking. I already have a pro, let me just add in the tracking.
    That, or work on an honest to god Vive 2 which has it built in with better lenses, and built in wireless. This seems like a strange way to move forward on the product.

  • Reply portzblitz January 9, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Aphex!

  • Reply Walle January 9, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Pimax 5k+ already has eye tracking (MRTV) Bigger FOV(200) Better SDE. HTC is is fall behind.

  • Reply Devin Dykstra January 9, 2019 at 10:53 am

    It's far from the first VR headset with eye tracking

  • Reply Hynek Borůvka January 9, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    FOVE robbery. They came like 6 years later and still make news…

  • Reply Tim Stevenson January 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Nice hoodie!

  • Reply gary hall January 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    my pimax 8k has eye tracking

  • Reply Hasan F January 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    your hands must be really tired from all the gesturing

  • Reply Richard Vondracek January 9, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    How big is the "real/virtual resolution" if you count in the eye tracking extension of the canvas?

  • Reply Joris S. January 9, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    So could you just upgrade the vive pro to the pro eye version?

  • Reply Jack Yarrow January 9, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Still think VR is just a gimmick!

  • Reply BlueNuke 2 January 9, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Just gunna wait till like 2020 to buy vr i was going to buy an oculus but the tech is advancing so fast there is new upgrades each year

  • Reply 0Asterite0 January 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Perfect for lewding in vr chat

  • Reply Grolivier January 10, 2019 at 2:27 am

    STOP SHAKING THOSE HANDS UUUUJ

  • Reply SierraSierraFoxtrot January 10, 2019 at 3:42 am

    It's the first recent HMD with BUILT IN eye tracking, but you could get eye tracking added to an HMD before.
    Seeing how this is for professional use, it's not such a huge leap, though a standardised device means more software.

  • Reply kirby march barcena January 10, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I hope it doesn't gives me headaches after using it.

  • Reply Suyong Choi January 10, 2019 at 10:06 am

    I'm excited for this one

  • Reply Lain January 10, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    If only I could afford this. Guess I'm stuck with my day 1 (or whatever day I actually got it) Rift.
    Don't get me wrong, I love my Rift, it's lighter, the touch controllers are more natural to hold, and it's good if you're only just getting into VR since it's also much cheaper now, but Vive is currently way ahead with higher resolution and eye tracking, and it's not a walled garden of proprietary bullshit.

  • Reply Emergent Healing January 10, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Its impressive with all the tech they're able to squeeze in but that just looks terrible.

  • Reply ziher123 January 10, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Pimax has it too.. and it makes this headset already obsolete

  • Reply Dr. Zoidberg January 11, 2019 at 2:45 am

    I wish someone would make a stand-alone high performance VR headset with eye tracking & inside-out motion/orientation tracking & which ends the screen door effect once & for all.

    Something like that would be the clincher for me — I would buy it straight away & never look back.

  • Reply Julio Sunga January 11, 2019 at 8:14 am

    for the low price of 1500 USD… without the controllers and tracking station. looking at HTCs pricing history, this aint far fetched.

  • Reply Kim Janson January 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

    They still use fresnel lens on that, really? deasent lens would not cost that much, now people are replasing them with Samsung gear VR lenses. Really HTC.

  • Reply Kieran Pavy January 11, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    What will the next HTC Vive be called?
    My bet is "HTC Vive Pro Eye X"

  • Reply Kevin Schmidt January 12, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    It's cool, but I'm disappointed after 3 years HTC hasn't come out with a successor to the Vive. We really need a wider field of view, higher resolution, finger tracking VR package that's $799 or under for everything.

  • Reply Johannes Morgenroth January 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    3:09 even HTC uses VRCover

  • Reply rkl08551 January 14, 2019 at 12:32 am

    *vr deadborn

  • Reply Gordon Land January 14, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Who wants to look like an outer space monster? Regardless whatever it does, who wants to run around like this? Do we really need such monstrous rubbish? Just look out of the window and see the World in 16K! Stupid people!

  • Reply Ston Brothers January 14, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    This came out of absolutely no where, I'm glad that VIVE is taking the leap!

  • Reply WVDM January 18, 2019 at 11:46 am

    About time… wanted VR eyetracking for years.

  • Reply Luke Charles January 21, 2019 at 12:21 am

    so when are they releasing their knuckle controllers? damn.

  • Reply Emvolts January 28, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    People still come to the verge for tech LOL

  • Reply Jnys February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

    This gonna work with original vive?

  • Reply Christmas Is Awesome February 8, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    So is it a whole new headset or an add on? I am thinking of getting a VR headset anything soon…

  • Reply Juahn Cho February 25, 2019 at 8:46 am

    The first vr eye tracking headset came out to the market 2 years ago. FOVE

  • Reply Simulacra March 9, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    is it a module that i can put into my current vive pro? Or do i have to buy a whole new one

  • Reply Abdelraouf Tria March 16, 2019 at 1:20 am

    For Only 1999 dollars!

  • Reply EmoK1ller OwO March 17, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    They should make the fov to 150-200 since it won't use a lot of processing power on the whole display

  • Reply Hakeem Hakim April 7, 2019 at 10:13 am

    So, this is a kit that can be added to the vive headset? LOL.

  • Reply zalbortrox zalbortox April 23, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Now to track the blinking for an scp game.

  • Reply skytreker May 4, 2019 at 10:27 am

    LAAAME!

  • Reply FlyAway May 14, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Just asking but can my laptop run vrchat at 60fps with htc vive:
    GTX 1050 2gb
    I7 7700k
    16gb ram ddr3
    Windows 10

  • Reply ロザノ ロペズデビット June 26, 2019 at 5:15 am

    FOVE was the first VR headset with eye tracking….

  • Reply Marco Polo June 26, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Why need for eye track. the sweet spot is in middle anyways because of lens they are using. Why not just create Foveated in middle as norm

  • Reply Killbuzz July 24, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    “The brace”

    Only OGs remember
    Like if you are an OG

  • Reply xMentor mentor July 31, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    The government are drip feeding us this tech

  • Reply Coffee Break Hero August 3, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    is there any reason for a consumer to buy this at this point???

  • Reply Voldemort August 20, 2019 at 11:17 am

    $1600 for Vive Pro Eye?? What else can it do to make me want it lol

  • Reply Durato 64 September 8, 2019 at 6:23 am

    DONT BUY IT!
    I buy it thinking that it will be best but noooo its practicly the same as htc vive normal and for 1000k dolars more it dosent make it

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