Those who desire to immerse themselves in virtual reality space end up only bearing witness to what goes on around them when they’re just sitting there. It usually takes a button, a controller, a quasi-visible physical detachment from the environment to interact and engage with the world they’re in.
But what if you could exert your presence in your environment just by looking? Staring? Gazing into the characters you’re talking to? It’s a concept posed by Fove as it kicks up pre-orders for its new, stereo eye-tracking virtual reality headset, the Fove 0.
The Japanese-American startup was co-founded by a former game producer at Sony and a VR developer who worked together from a collaboration lab at the University of Tokyo. The lab allowed for them to reach hardware manufacturers for partnerships to grab low-latency pupil sensors, infrared position trackers and proper helmet components.
On the device, which masses up to 540 grams, the OLED display has resolution of 2560 x 1440 and runs at 70fps natively with a 100° field of view. The headset requires I/O of an HDMI 1.4 port, a USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports. A bare spec computer needs to run with an Intel Core i5-4590 coupled to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD R9 290 with 8GB of RAM and run Windows 8.1 or later in its 64-bit form.
The software behind it, though, is what really takes the cake. The eye-tracking allows users to point out and select interface elements without the need for tactile hardware. The headset also takes advantage of foveated processing to maximize efficiency in graphics rendering based on where the user is looking at.
The Fove 0 supports games on Unity, Unreal and Xenko engines from the SteamVR and OSVR platforms.
Pre-orders for the device are on for $599 or $549 if reserved before November 9. Shipping begins early next year. There was a Kickstarter campaign before general availability, though, so those who backed the project will hope to get their perks by the end of the year.