HTC, at the CES 2019, showed off two new VR headsets – HTC Vive Pro Eye and HTC Cosmos – which are coming with some first-time features in the VR headset space.
Vive Pro Eye is a flagship VR headset that will work in tandem with a gaming PC or laptop and has an all-new eye tracking feature. The other one, Vive Cosmos, is relatively lightweight and can even be used with smartphones or other low power computers.
Vive Pro Eye
As the headset only made an appearance at the electronics show, there isn’t much known about its details specs.
The company did show off some of its features – which weren’t present in the predecessor, HTC Vive, and even Vive Pro – like its eye-tracking capabilities. This feature tracks the movement and position of a user’s eye and even lets you control in-game content this way. The headset continuously tracks the movement of its user’s eyes so you won’t have to move your head around to see more around you.
Moreover, the latest headset also has foveated rendering support – a new-age 3D rendering technique that controls pixel density depending on the screen space, improving performance and visuals. So, the eye tracking function can be used this way to render fewer pixels where the user’s eye isn’t looking. This is also a good indication that this feature will be made available to developers in game engines and devkits.
An HTC official also confirmed that they’ll be working with Nvidia to use advanced rendering techniques like variable rate shading, that further improves gaming performance, also present in the latest RTX GPU series.
This one is meant to improve practicality, as the Vive Cosmos has no wires and can easily be connected to a smartphone – much like the previously announced Oculus Quest.
HTC says that this headset only uses its built-in cameras – two front facing and more on the sides – and will never require any external sensors, improving its portability and making it easy to set up.
— HTC VIVE (@htcvive) January 7, 2019
It’s meant to make high-end VR experience more readily available for more users, including those who don’t want to set up a complete gaming PC for VR.
While there’s no word on when the Cosmos is getting launched, HTC said that its Vive Pro Eye will hit the markets in “the second quarter of 2019”.
HTC is expected to reveal more about specs and will also give out demos very soon.