HTC's new Vive Pro Eye headset features built-in eye tracking

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Today at HTC's CES 2019 press conference, the company dropped major news about two new headsets: The HTC Vive Cosmos and the HTC Vive Pro Eye. This takes the Vive Pro and, as the name might suggest, adds eye tracking to your VR experience. In other words, if the user is looking straight ahead, there's no reason to have the periphery in focus and rendering at full speed.

HTC hasn't revealed a price or release date for the Vive Pro Eye, but says it will launch during the second quarter of 2019. Both the VR headsets are targeted at a different set of users. That's intentional as Cosmos won't rely on any external tracking sensors, which points strongly at onboard internal sensors.

Even the flip up cover of the HTC Vive Cosmos feels like a nod to the movie Ready Player One, similar to the movie poster that shows the protagonist flipping in and out of the virtual worlds. The headset also features handheld controllers, which with the glowing circular rings, looks like something out of the movie Tron.

HTC also debuted an all-new VR headset called the Cosmos. The Cosmos should apparently work with more than just high-end gaming PCs, but no more details were shared about that. The company created this as a headset that can be used anywhere.

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The eye tracking hardware enables new experiences and thus "your eyes are transformed into an intuitive controller and intention communicator, and the results are quickened reaction for games, insightful data collection and much more". The Vive Pro Eye has a similar design as last year's Vive Pro, though it's gotten upgrades under the hood to incorporate eye tracking.

Additionally, enterprise customers can use eye tracking to better train and evaluate users.

The Vive Cosmos is described as a "new premium PC VR system, and a vision of the virtual future". On top of that, HTC has outlined software updates to its content subscription service and something called the "Vive Reality System".

Announced by HTC stalwart Drew Bamford, who's now VP of Creative Labs within the brand, it promises to be the next step in virtual reality in terms of getting access to VR on the go - but right now, that's a mysterious promise.

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