HTC Vive Getting Eye Tracking First

FrgMstr

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We are big on VR around here, no matter the naysayers. And one thing we have found out is that when it comes to high-end VR graphics, it takes a metric buttload of GPU power to pull off amazing VR visuals in the HMD. Foveated rendering is a technique that can greatly increase VR graphics performance. It does this by NOT rendering high image quality to the parts of the screen that you are NOT looking directly at. The fly in the ointment is getting the system to be able to identify what you are looking at however. Venture Beat is reporting that the Chinese company 7invensun is looking to be the first to be able to add eye-tracking to the HTC Vive with its aGlass product.

Check out the video.

A Chinese startup known as 7invensun (pronounced seven-in-ven-sun) is announcing it will be releasing a new eye tracking module for the Vive next month. The module is called the aGlass and it will be available for “limited pre-order sales” next month, according to HTC. The company is referring to this first roll-out as a developer kit, but preorders are open to anyone. According to HTC, the system will cost about $220 and will release first in China next month before rolling out towards Q3 in the west.

The aGlass consists of two separate trackers built specifically to fit alongside the lenses of the Vive. Each tracker has a halo of IR lights combined with sensors that can track the movements of each of your eyes and eyelids. It is said to support customized lenses depending on the specific vision concerns of the individual customer.

The big kicker here is that the HTC Vive can be retrofitted to implement this technology. This is reported to also able to be done by the user, so for any [H]VR user, this should easy-peasy. Once that is done, the aGlass has a software layer, also implemented by the end-user, that can add foveated rendering to any NVIDIA GPU being used for accelerating VR on the Vive. The guys at Venture Beat used the aGlass technology and found that they could accelerate a 45FPS situation to the optimal 90FPS needed in VR, however they did not discuss the quality of their VR experience.
 

Axehandler

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I'd probably retrofit my Vive to add this... BUT...

The visual "sweet spot" in the current lenses would need to be modified.
 

cdig

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Wouldn't it be better to spend that $220 on a better gpu? That way you'd get better performance out of VR too.
 

FrgMstr

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Wouldn't it be better to spend that $220 on a better gpu? That way you'd get better performance out of VR too.
Good point. But there will be a lot of other tech based on eye tracking as well that are not about GPU performance.
 
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FrgMstr

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Also, $220 by itself is not enough to get you a better GPU. You need to spend $220 plus $220 more to get a decent GPU for VR.
Thanks. I think we have posted this in every VR review we have done.

Barrier to Entry in VR

Our experiences with the HTC Vive and VR room scale gaming have been incredible. Worth mentioning is that the barrier to entry for a VR system is high. The full Vive system that contains, the headset, two motion controllers, and base stations will cost you a solid $800. Oculus has its motion controllers coming soon, and we have those on order. If you want top of the line VR performance, the GeForce GTX 1080 video card will cost you at least $700 with the TITAN X coming in at $1200. Even if you go with the slower performing VR card in our reviews, which was the Radeon RX 480, you are still going to have to shell out more than $1000 between the Vive and the RX 480. So yes, the barrier to entry for a VR system is high.
 

Spidey329

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A Chinese startup known as 7invensun (pronounced seven-in-ven-sun) is announcing it will be releasing a new eye tracking module for the Vive next month. The module is called the aGlass and it will be available for “limited pre-order sales” next month, according to HTC. The company is referring to this first roll-out as a developer kit, but preorders are open to anyone. According to HTC, the system will cost about $220 and will release first in China next month before rolling out towards Q3 in the west.

Wait ... When's it available? /s

Wouldn't it be better to spend that $220 on a better gpu? That way you'd get better performance out of VR too.

Depends, you could just wait for HTC to acquire the tech and build it into the unit (Vive2).

I'm sure both HTC/Oculus are exploring all possible ways to increase the frame rate.
 

sir-gold

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I'd probably retrofit my Vive to add this... BUT...

The visual "sweet spot" in the current lenses would need to be modified.

Eye traking on the Vive, as it currently stands, is pretty pointless, since the lenses already look like the first example of 'contemporary fovation' from the video.

Also, $220 by itself is not enough to get you a better GPU. You need to spend $220 plus $220 more to get a decent GPU for VR.

The 1070 founders edition is only $399 now.
 

tetris42

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I've always wondered if something sort of like this could be possible on a triple monitor display. Rather than eye tracking, the main display would render as normally, but the side displays would render at a fraction of the resolution and be blurred out to save on performance, but still get the real peripheral effect.
 

Loose Nut

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sounds like a good reason for a bad idea.

I understand we need it so weaker computers can make use of virtual reality headsets and help promote VR
but reading the human eye is something I have been doing for a long time (police)
it hold a lot of information so it will get used a lot, and misused a lot more.

I am looking forward to the Vive Lie detector though. ( incorporate it into the forums would be sweet, Miracle Maxs wife gif auto generate with the word LIAR imbedded in the users post LOL )

Vive drug test
Vive Schizophrenia test
Vive Diabetes test (would be a plus, though I could see insurance companies misusing this one)
Vive Iris scan computer lock ( um no, you can choose not to give out a password, or not tell where the key is. your eyeball is a little harder to keep locked away.

thought of a good one hehe

Vive Grandchildren detector ( peek at your sons vrpron viewing habits, gaze locked on penis 64% vagina 36% Sorry no grandchildren for you)
 
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ChadD

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Vive Diabetes test (would be a plus, though I could see insurance companies misusing this one)

Vive Grandchildren detector ( peek at your sons vrpron viewing habits, gaze locked on penis 64% vagina 36% Sorry no grandchildren for you)

Well insurance company abuse only counts in third world countries where universal health care isn't a reality. In the first world detecting diabetes early would be a good use of the tech.

Are there not existing ways to view your kids porn habits.

Also last I checked being gay didn't stop you from having kids... but ok.
 

sir-gold

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I've always wondered if something sort of like this could be possible on a triple monitor display. Rather than eye tracking, the main display would render as normally, but the side displays would render at a fraction of the resolution and be blurred out to save on performance, but still get the real peripheral effect.

I don't remember what brand it was, but there was a TV that used lights projected out from the back and sides onto the wall to give a similar effects
 

Hagrid

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sounds like a good reason for a bad idea.

I understand we need it so weaker computers can make use of virtual reality headsets and help promote VR
but reading the human eye is something I have been doing for a long time (police)
it hold a lot of information so it will get used a lot, and misused a lot more.

I am looking forward to the Vive Lie detector though. ( incorporate it into the forums would be sweet, Miracle Maxs wife gif auto generate with the word LIAR imbedded in the users post LOL )

Vive drug test
Vive Schizophrenia test
Vive Diabetes test (would be a plus, though I could see insurance companies misusing this one)
Vive Iris scan computer lock ( um no, you can choose not to give out a password, or not tell where the key is. your eyeball is a little harder to keep locked away.

thought of a good one hehe

Vive Grandchildren detector ( peek at your sons vrpron viewing habits, gaze locked on penis 64% vagina 36% Sorry no grandchildren for you)
Not exactly. When they release new versions of the Rift/Vive, the resolution will go up. So any little bit will help it now and in the future.
 

akaliel

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Not exactly. When they release new versions of the Rift/Vive, the resolution will go up. So any little bit will help it now and in the future.

Yes, this is what it is. Once the headsets are 4K, we're going to need optimizations like this.
 

sir-gold

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Yes, this is what it is. Once the headsets are 4K, we're going to need optimizations like this.
This didn't even occur to me, but it makes perfect sense, even the top Nvidia cards will struggle if the headset resolution increases too much.
Plus, the higher the screen resolution is, the less you will notice the reduced resolution on the edges.
 
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