Virtual reality headsets are popping up everywhere. Nearly every major tech company- Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google, are coming out with their own versions. So far, all have one thing in common, and it has to do with the way you see the virtual world. You must turn your whole head to do so. A company called Fove has created its very own Kickstarter campaign for its headset, which uses eye-tracking (in addition to head-tracking) to control and feel more immersed in your environment.
Fove, which comes from fovea, the part of the eye responsible for central vision, might just be the first company to integrate this technology into its VR headset. According to TechCrunch, it does this using foveated rendering, or the use of a graphics engine to determine where the user's eyes are focused, then concentrate the device's rendering power on that area for the best possible resolution. This may seem like it would be using a lot of rendering power, but it's actually reserving it. In the gaming environment, putting a focal point on enemies intensifies the experience.
As you can imagine, there's plenty to be worked on. Engadget points out a certain amount of lag when foveated rendering is happening. Considering your eye movements go back and forth so many times, this is understandable. Additionally, dark makeup like eyeliner and mascara have been causing some issues, and Fove needs to come up with an updated algorithm that recognizes only the dark and round pupil as the focal point. Crowdfunding backers won't see their Fove headset until May 2016 when it's ready. The company plans to use the money to update the eye-tracking technology, as well as check the safety of infrared lights on the device. Looks like it's doing well already, with $236,000 of its $250,000 goal already raised.
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