HTC debuts Vive Pro Eye with eye tracking, plus standalone Vive Cosmos (Updated)

At a 2019 CES press conference today, Vive GM of the Americas Dan O’Brien announced Vive Pro Eye, a native eye-tracking solution for the Vive Pro platform that enables the headset to offer foveated rendering.

The new Vive Pro solution will be usable in games, enable gaze-assisted menu navigation, flight training that lets coaches see what students were looking at during practice runs, and more.

HTC also announced Viveport Infinity, the world’s first “infinite VR subscription service.” Users will be able to access the top 500 apps from Viveport for a single monthly fee, and will have an account that works across Vive, Oculus Rift, Vive Focus, and all of Wave VR partners including Pico and others. It will be launching on April 5; the price isn’t yet known.

The company also says that it will be launching versions of Mozilla’s previously-announced Firefox Reality VR web browser and Amazon Sumerian for Viveport. HTC also will offer MLB and Red Bull 2D and 360-degree experiences in Viveport.

HTC also discussed the Vive Reality System, what the company describes as a seamless integration of hardware, software, and services — a way to experience VR within the “new age of spatial computing” through experiences, rather than a traditional app launcher. The goal is to create an intuitive way of gluing together the company’s offerings based on current paradigms, rather than classic computing user interfaces.

Customers want frictionless experiences that work across multiple devices; people spend over 17 hours a week browsing the internet, so using Mozilla’s browser is part of the equation. The company is also introducing Origin, a central interface that looks like Sony’s PlayStation Home, using 3D avatars within a lush 3D space. Origin will include art and artifacts, drawing tools, and a “Lens” that enables you to easily move from your current location to new destinations — including ones within Viveport Infinity.

The company also debuted Vive Cosmos, a new standalone system designed to work with Vive Reality. Cosmos appears to be capable of working by itself or pairing with a PC, and has new controllers — the company is only offering a sneak peek of Cosmos today, and will have more to share in the near future.

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