As VRFocus have previously reported, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) have been working with eye-tracking technology for some time now. Their eye-tracking product has even been incorporated into the latest version of the HTC Vive headset, which is currently undergoing testing by research customers.
Now SMI and Valve have announced they they will be introducing this eye-tracking into the OpenVR platform. SMI’s eye-tracking provides a range of benefits to virtual reality (VR) users, including the ability to better ‘meet the gaze’ of NPCs they encounter within the virtual world and foveated rendering – which reduces the demand on the hardware.
“Eye tracking opens up several interesting possibilities to both VR developers and customers.” said Yasser Malaika of Valve. “Our collaboration with SMI on R&D, as well as on SMI’s efforts to make eye-tracking enabled Vive units available to the larger VR community, have been critical to our growing understanding of how HMDs with integrated eye tracking will positively impact the future of VR.”
SMI Director OEM Business Christian Villwock added; “Over the past year SMI has established itself as the clear leader in VR and AR integrated eye tracking and its value driven use. Today we are thrilled to see our eye tracking on show as part of the Valve platform. This demo is the result of the experience and the valuable learnings we have accumulated during our relationship with Valve, a company that had the foresight to see the value of eye tracking at an early stage.”
Valve will be hosting SMI at it’s GDC booth, where it will be demonstrating the modified version of the HTC Vive with eye-tracking enabled.
For further information about Valve, SMI and GDC, keep your eyes on VRFocus.