If you've got a spare $1,600 burning a hole in your pocket and you've been considering a VR headset, well then you're in luck because HTC VIVE just launched the VIVE Pro Eye in North America which means it should be available in the US and Canada. Though, HTC doesn't exactly make it clear what "North America" includes here, so it may just be the US.
Pushing that aside, the VIVE Pro Eye is the cream of the crop for the VIVE headsets and is geared towards enterprise, meaning it's likely more valuable to companies who are using virtual reality headsets within the industry in some way than it is to the consumer.
That said anyone can still buy the VIVE Pro Eye on the VIVE website, so if you prefer this model to the other less expensive options and you like to be on the bleeding edge of what's on offer, then this is the option to go with.
The VIVE Pro Eye is essentially the VIVE Pro, but with a few notable improvements added in to take advantage of eye tracking and offer up a handful of additional features that weren't previously available.
Things like precision eye tracking are obviously the main focus here, seeing as how "eye" is in the name of the headset, but users looking at the VIVE Pro Eye as a possible purchase will also get things like ability to simulate real-life scenarios.
Use of these Dynamic Training Environments is yet again something which probably won't appeal to most if any regular consumers, but it seems to be a win for an industry already folding virtual reality into the way they operate specific tasks. It'll also let you provide intelligent feedback on performance so anything that needs to be adjusted can be done so.
Perhaps more interesting for the companies looking to gain insight into customers that utilize the VIVE Pro Eye at their establishments is the ability to use the data gathered by the headset for real-time feedback.
HTC has built in the ability to look at real-time user feedback with heatmapping technology and the gaze tracking technology. Companies can then take that feedback and figure out what users may have behaved in a certain way and made the decision that they did during use of the headset.
First announced during CES 2019 back in January, the HTC VIVE Pro Eye also takes a step in the direction of making the controller obsolete. The eye tracking technology opens the doorway to navigation within simulations using the direction that a user is looking as opposed to needing a controller to point in the direction they want to move.
This in itself can help pave the way to a more immersive experience within the virtual reality landscape, and although the VIVE Pro Eye was designed with commercial customers in mind, it could eventually lead to more immersive experiences in consumer-based VR products as well utilizing the same technology.
Those looking to get their hands on the VIVE Pro Eye can already place orders with units shipping now, and including the headset itself, the link box, a DisplayPort cable, a USB 3.0 cable, the power adapters, two controllers, and two of the base station 2.0 units.