Chinese hardware company 7invensun has developed the world’s first eye tracking add-on for the HTC Vive. For $220, users can attach two eyepieces to the inside housing of the HTC Vive. These eyepieces, which are being called aGlass, detect the location of the pupils using sensors and infrared, and communicate this information to the headset using USB.
To accommodate for various eye configurations, and possibly eyeglasses, three sets of lenses will be included.
Eye-tracking is a tricky problem for virtual reality that has huge implications. Without tracking the location of pupils, current VR headsets require users to center their eyes to achieve maximum clarity. In addition, eye movement is an important element of human behavior.
By factoring in the locations of the pupils, virtual reality experiences can better emulate the real world.
aGlass is the direct result of HTC Vive X Accelerator, a $100 million program that invested in third-parties start-ups to develop hardware and software for the HTC Vive.
aGlass is scheduled for a release in Q3 2017.