Valve to Show New HTC Vive With Eye-Tracking Tech

The company adds SensoMotoric Instruments to the firms it is collaborating with for its OpenVR platform.


Valve has announced that it will be showing off a new version of the HTC Vive at GDC this week, featuring new eye-tracking software added to its OpenVR platform.

The technology, created by SensorMotoric Instruments, has been added to a number of new Vive units that have been distributed to various partners around the world, according to Tom's Hardware. The showing at GDC will be the first time the tech has been demoed.

"This demo is the result of the experience and the valuable learnings we have accumulated during our relationship with Valve, a company that had the foresight to see the value of eye tracking at an early stage," said Christian Villwock, a director at SMI.

What makes this important is the move to gesture-free environments, making immersion even better. Several VR companies in Japan have been experimenting with the technology, with Fove being the most prominent.

"Eye tracking opens up several interesting possibilities to both VR developers and customers," Valve's Yasser Malaika told Tom's Hardware. "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."

Valve previously announced that it was working with LG Electronics on a new prototype headset also to be shown at GDC.

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