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

Joshua Bennett
January 10, 2019

Luckily HTC gets a second try.

The motion controllers have been redesigned and now resemble the Oculus Touch more than the previous generation Vive wands.

You'll notice I said "semi-standalone". HTC also posted on Twitter about the availability of the Cosmos. To demonstrate this, Major League Baseball (MLB) debuted eye tracking on the Vive Pro Eye at CES by integrating the tech into its MLB Home Run Derby VR app. Users can fully navigate the menu system without a traditional control, using just their eyeballs.

The technology also allows for an easier gaming experience. In addition to the two front-facing cameras, there's also a pair of side-facing cameras, but HTC hasn't disclosed their functions.

Here's a first look at the Vive Cosmos.

We didn't get any real specs, regardless.

The all-new VIVE controllers.

The best I can say is the Vive Cosmos has potential.

"We found that over 85 per cent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", Daniel O'Brien, GM of HTC Vive swooned.

What do you think of the HTC Vive's CES 2019 announcements?

How much will the Vive Cosmos cost? HTC has unveiled four other different headsets such as Vive, Vive Pro, Vive Focus, and Vive Cosmos.

For now, HTC has stated that Cosmos requires not external trackers which means that the headset should be utilizing a method called inside-out tracking. More information should surface in the near future.

As mentioned earlier, the Vive Pro Eye headset comes with native eye-tracking technology for monitoring eye movements in order to deliver a more immersive VR experience. We saw a Tobii demo last March and were incredibly impressed.

We'd like to give you a first look at VIVE COSMOS, the newest VR headset from VIVE. HTC and Oculus have been joined by other headset manufacturers. HTC keeps shouting, "Hey, did you know you can buy all your VR games through Viveport?"

That's how it's been for nearly three years now.

Normally when you play a game in VR the entire scene is rendered in high quality across the VR screen. That's how it's functioned up until now, at least. This will become available on April 5.

What's really going to matter is implementation and what kind of experiences without a PC. It is now unknown what the lineup of 500 games at launch will look like but this is exciting news for VR fans.

Viveport Infinity will be available not just on Vive hardware like the Focus, but also all Wave VR partners.

In a video released by HTC, we can see the Cosmos with a phone.

The company has been focusing on developing enterprise content for its Vive virtual reality platform. If that's the case, it's a significant blow to SteamVR - which, for all Valve's flaws, is still probably my favorite (and the most reliable) implementation of a VR storefront. They started their presentation by unveiling the Vive Pro Eye. HTC isn't almost as well-oiled a machine.

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