/ Gadgets / Fove eye-tracking VR headset makes virtual reality more like reality

Fove eye-tracking VR headset makes virtual reality more like reality

Andrea on May 31, 2015 - 8:33 am in Gadgets
Fove VR headset
The dirty secret with modern-day virtual reality headsets are that they don’t really offer virtual reality. Headsets like the Oculus Rift are the first step in the right direction, but really, the big VR feature is essentially just replacing your mouse’s camera-look movement with your neck. Current headsets not only need to be coupled with omnidirectional treadmills to keep you from feeling like you’re stuck in a desk chair, but the only way to look around in a virtual environment is to summon the spirit of nipple-suited Batman and turn your whole head. Fove aims to fix that by being the first virtual reality headset to incorporate eye-tracking.

Aside from a sleek white design, Fove is your standard VR headset — screens placed in front of your eyes are strapped to your head. The eye-tracking, though, is what really elevates the VR experience. In a shooter, you can employ true line-of-sight aiming to take down your enemy. In an RPG (or printer-dating sim), you can make eye contact with NPCs during a conversation and cause different reactions based on how fervent or sheepish your gaze is. In an open world game like Skyrim, the surrounding scenery can blur out of focus depending on where you’re looking. Perhaps best of all, the addition of eye-tracking extends your range of view, allowing you to see more of your environment with less movement — just like real life.

The eye-tracking is precise, to 1/20 of a degree, and the headset boasts a 100-degree field of view on a 2560 x 1440 high resolution 5.8-inch display.

If you’re interested in evolved immersion in virtual reality, you can help make Fove a consumer product through its Kickstarter campaign. Super early backers can grab a headset and development kit for $349, but if you miss out on that tier, you can grab the same set and kit for $379. When those sell out, $399 marks the entry price. If you’re a big spender and want to include your whole nuclear family or game night buddies in your new virtual reality, you can drop $1,799 for five headsets, a dev kit, and hands-on support from the team.

Whether or not Fove makes it through the crowdfunding gauntlet, the goal is sound; virtual reality needs to be more realistic, and being able to use your eyes without limitation — the way you naturally would — is a solid step in the right direction.

Source: Games – Geek.com

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