Thursday, 21 May 2015

Eye-Tracking Tech Makes Virtual Reality Hands-Free

Eye Tracking Tech – FOVE Headset

People with certain disabilities can now look forward to new means of communication and interaction with the advanced virtual reality headset, which could be game changer for the entertainment industry according to developers.

FOVE headset utilises eye tracking technology to enable the wearer, a completely hands free virtual reality wherein the action could be controlled with the help of eye movements. The virtual reality technology has been advertised as the next social and communications platform with firms like Oculus VR being one the market leaders with their Oculus Rift, virtual reality glasses.

However, LochlainnWilson, FOVE’s co-developer as well as chief technology officer, states that their unique technology provides an immersive experience which has not been provided by anyone. He further adds that `eye tracking is game changing in VR.

 It allows for much more complex and subtle interaction than has been possible previously. By knowing exactly where the user is looking, characters in virtual reality can react to your gaze and return it naturally or avoid it or respond or question. But what really sets us apart is eye-tracking, of course. So with eye-tracking we enable a whole new world of interaction in VR. We enable really sensitive emotional experiences that could only otherwise be experienced in real life’.

Two In-Built Cameras – In Head Mount

This eye tracking technology utilises two in-built cameras which is in the head mount for recognizing the user’s eye movement. Presently users perform a short calibration system wherein the device tends to scan the user’s eye and track the movement of their iris.

According to the team, the next version of the device would use iris recognition for loading user profiles. Wilson informs that the device delivers an experience which was previously only possible in science fiction. He comments that `in the control sense, we enable science fiction like user interfaces like Tony Stark’s Ironman and Jarvis, just at a glance user interface respond and updates information, targets an enemy, hits another button and they’re blown up. It is pretty cool in that sense. In a more technical side of things, we enable what is known as foviated rendering, where you focus the processing power exactly on what the user is looking at. By doing this, we drastically reduce the computing power required to deliver a believable scene’.

Various Fields to Benefit with Technology 

Wilson also stated that the technology presents an occasion to re-imagine various tasks and social interactions in the field of education and medicine. This start-up was originated by Wilson together with CEO Yuka Kojima and with the games industry being their focus, the creators of FOVE convey that their device could bring about virtual reality to cinema, enabling viewers to interact within the headset with objects and characters.

He has also informed that they always thought that their technology would have applications which would be outside gaming. It would be suitable for education, training, psychology, research, neuroscience, with various fields which could benefit on having this form of technology.

He also informs that the technology provides a freedom of expression as well as creativity for individuals with certain disabilities, providing a level of communication which was otherwise impossible. The expected price point conveyed by him would be around $400.

The company would now launch a crowd funding campaign to raise $250,000 USD, on the Kick-starter platform, for a flawless product and begin developing its headsets.

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