SAN FRANCISCO — Valve Corporation, the firm whose technology powers the HTC Vive, and eye tracking technology developer SensoMotoric Instruments (www.smivision.com), have come together at GDC 2017 to showcase their integration of eye tracking into the OpenVR platform. Valve and SMI have been collaborating for more than two years, with SMI successfully adding its eye tracking to the Vive head-mounted-display. That modified device is now shipping to research customers around the world.
Now, SMI and Valve are working to integrate eye tracking directly into OpenVR. The goal is to provide VR applications with a convenient way to add one or more eye tracking benefits, such as gaze-augmented interaction, foveated rendering – which delivers a high-end VR experience with lower computational demands – and realistic eye contact between avatars thanks to SMI’s Social Eye.
“Eye tracking opens up several interesting possibilities to both VR developers and customers.” says Yasser Malaika of Valve. “Our collaboration with SMI on R&D, as well as on SMI’s efforts to make eye-tracking enabled Vive units available to the larger VR community, have been critical to our growing understanding of how HMDs with integrated eye tracking will positively impact the future of VR.”
SMI eye tracking is a proven technology in computer and tablet screens, eye tracking glasses, augmented reality AR and VR headsets – mobile, standalone and PC-based. In total, SMI has succeeded with more than 10 eye tracking integrations for VR and AR in the past 12 months.