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Samsung Invests in FOVE

It’s been a busy few weeks for FOVE, the upcoming virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) that utilises eye-tracking technology. The company behind the kit launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the device earlier in the year, and has so far nearly doubled its $250,000 USD funding goal, sitting at $451,919 at the time of writing. There’s still 8 days left before the campaign’s 4th July 2015 closure but today the team has revealed that it is to receive support from Samsung, the South Korean electronics company behind the Gear VR mobile HMD.

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Samsung Ventures has made an investment in FOVE. Specifics of the deal haven’t been disclosed but the company notes that it will bring in additional capital and other support to help with the completion of the hardware itself. “With this new investment and from our Kickstarter community, we will work diligently in making FOVE development possible on a large scale,” said FOVE CEO and co-founder Yuka Kojima said of the news. “Our goal is to further advance the virtual reality market.”

It’s not clear if this deal could also be the first step to incorporating eye-tracking into Gear VR. Though certainly intriguing, the mobile nature of the system may present some challenges to its implementation.

This is far from the only significant announcement FOVE has made over the past few weeks. During E3 2015 in Los Angeles, California, it announced intentions to support Valve’s SteamVR system, including the Room Scale user-tracking provided by the Lighthouse device. According to the company, today’s news will ensure that this integration does indeed happen, having previously been locked behind a $700,000 stretch goal in the Kickstarter campaign itself.

VRFocus will continue to follow FOVE’s work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.