HTC adds face and eye tracking with new Vive Focus 3 accessories
HTC has announced two new accessories for its Vive Focus 3, the Focus 3 Facial Tracker and Focus 3 Eye Tracker. These two new devices will bring more natural experiences to VR, offering more immersive experiences with face and eye tracking.
Up until now, digital avatars in the VR world were pretty good, but one thing that they lacked was expression. Users could never relay facial expressions to digital friends because face and eye tracking wasn’t an option. With the Focus 3 Facial Tracker, users can convey a wide range of emotions thanks to the mono-tracking camera that can detect lips, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth, and more. This tracking method will allow the camera to capture the most realistic facial expressions and mouth movements. Perhaps even more impressive is that with 60Hz tracking, users can synchronize mouth movements with their voice, so interactions look as real as possible in the VR space. Best of all, there isn’t much that needs to be done when installing the new accessory, just plug it into the VR headset via USB-C.
Like the Facial Tracker, the Focus 3 Eye Tracker will introduce more realism into the world of VR with realistic eye movements like blinking and squinting. The device will have a dual camera setup with IR illuminators that will be able to capture pupil direction, size, and even position. The unit will attach via magnets, making it easy to take on and off the Vive Focus 3. Furthermore, it’s lightweight. Beyond the previously mentioned benefits, eye tracking will allow for “foveated rendering.” This is a great optimization technique where the headset directs the highest fidelity graphics where the user is currently looking. This not only improves the user’s experience but also allows Focus 3 to process graphics more efficiently.
The Vive Focus 3 VR headset comes priced at $1,300, with the Vive Focus 3 Facial Tracker currently priced at $99, while the Eye Tracker comes in at $249. This is certainly an interesting time for HTC to announce these accessories, as rival Meta has teased its own VR headset with facial tracking set to arrive in October.
Source: HTC Vive Blog