HTC Vive Pro Eye goes on sale in North America

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HTC Vive’s Pro Eye is now on sale in North America.

The new virtual reality (VR) headset will set enterprises back $1,599. Featuring the latest in eye tracking technology, companies from multiple industries are already using Vive Pro Eye for training and simulation, consumer feedback and analytics, and gaze-oriented navigation.

Its precision eye tracking enables businesses to create more expressive avatars for immersive virtual interactions in meeting and collaboration tools, and simulate real-life scenarios and provide users with intelligent performance feedback.

The device captures real-time user feedback through heat-mapping and gaze tracking to gain insight into user behaviour and decision processes.

Gaze-orientated menu navigation removes the need for controllers and boosts convenience of use in environments such as VR arcades or location-based entertainment.

Businesses in mind

At CES 2019 earlier this year, Major League Baseball (MLB) debuted eye tracking on Vive Pro Eye as a key component of its MLB Home Run Derby VR experience, allowing users full menu control without a traditional controller.

Jamie Leece, senior vice president of games and VR at MLB, said: “We’ve invested in VR technology to connect our fans to our game and deliver a new level of engagement through VR game competitions and in-ballpark attractions.”

“By integrating eye tracking technology into Home Run Derby VR, we are able to transport this immersive baseball experience to any location without additional controllers needed. Our fans can simply operate menus by using their eyes.”

Another business making full use of Vive Pro Eye’s tracking capabilities is Zerolight, which developed the BMW M Virtual Experience to allow potential customers to configure, explore, and sit inside a simulated M5 in immersive VR.

“The Vive Pro Eye has taken everything that was great about the Vive Pro and pushed it to the next level,” said Chris O’Connor, technical director at Zerolight.

“Using this headset’s eye tracking technology, we can add significant extra value to our clients’ projects with foveated rendering and detailed user behaviour insights.”

Ovation is using VR to develop public speaking skills. Its VR experience allows users to customise their training to replicate real-life situations from ballroom to courtroom, in addition to using eye tracking data to provide feedback designed to grow users’ skills and confidence.

Jeff Marshall, chief executive officer of Ovation, said: “Arguably the most important element of communication is eye contact; with the Vive Pro Eye, Ovation can actively guide improvement by measuring and providing feedback on where exactly users are distributing their eye contact throughout a speech.”

“Our virtual venues come to life as individual audience members can react with various animations when a user makes direct eye contact with them. As a developer, there’s just no going back once you’ve seen all that eye tracking makes possible.”

Find out more about the potential of Vive Pro Eye for enterprise in the video below:

All aboard the enterprise

HTC Vive recently struck a deal with Synnex Corporation to deliver its VR products, including Pro Eye, to enterprise resellers.

Through the agreement, resellers have access to HTC Vive’s VR offerings designed for markets including architecture, construction and engineering, product design, healthcare and medicine, and education. The offering is available through Synnex’s New Age Electronics division.

“We’re continuing to see the demand for enterprise VR increase, as the technology rapidly shapes the way companies operate and communicate with their employees and customers,” said Daniel O’Brien, general manager for the Americas at HTC Vive. “We’re thrilled to work with Synnex to make virtual reality solutions available to both commercial sellers and their customers looking to take advantage of this technology.”

The HTC Vive products available through Synnex include the Focus Plus, Pro and Pro Eye.

Fred Towns, president of Synnex’s New Age Electronics division, said: “As the virtual reality category evolves to include more applications for a range of business environments, it’s important that we equip resellers with a leading enterprise offering like HTC Vive. We’re excited to be part of the evolution where business users can immerse themselves into new digital worlds to learn, manage projects and solve problems from wherever they are.”

Image credit: HTC Vive