The VR headset HTC VIVE Focus 3 benefits from a considerably increased feature set. This is made possible by two new peripherals that allow eye and face tracking. The VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and the VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker have been officially unveiled.
HTC VIVE Focus 3 with new eye and facial tracker
The high-end VR headset HTC VIVE Focus 3 gets new features with which the manufacturer Meta preempts with its new device. With the new VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and the VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker, they introduce eye and face tracking, which should open up completely new possibilities in the VR segment.
For example, both new peripherals are said to enable a more natural and immersive VR experience, encouraging interaction between users. This allows for a more realistic use of the VR system, which the manufacturer says is ideal for virtual events, training, chat groups, remote meetings via VIVE Sync, animation, motion capture recording and many other scenarios.
The VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker is said to be a single tracking camera that can experience natural emotions and capture facial expressions through 38 so-called blend shapes. Lip movements, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth and even the tongue are detected and are said to enable lifelike facial expressions in virtual space.
The tracking rate is 60 Hz, which should ensure smooth representations. In addition, HTC VIVE promises an optimized runtime with minimal latency when synchronizing with the user’s own voice. The module is easily connected via USB Type-C with the VIVE Focus 3.
VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker
The second in the bunch is the VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker, which gives the VR HMD eye tracking. Thus, the manufacturer promises realistic eye movements and blinking, which should also be interesting in the gaming sector.
The device uses a dual-camera setup that is able to capture and virtually display data about the origin and direction of the gaze, the size and position of the pupil, and the degree of eye opening with the help of IR illuminators.
The focus here is primarily on use for training and education purposes, as administrators can use heat mapping and eye tracking, for example, to track what users are seeing and what they are looking at particularly long or intensively.
The eye-tracking module can be easily attached magnetically to the HTC VIVE Focus 3 VR goggles, while the adjustable interpupillary distance (IPD) can be adjusted to match that of the VR headset. Eye and Facial Trackers also support Unity, the Unreal Game Engine and Native, while creating new content should be especially easy thanks to VIVE’s WaveSDK and upcoming OpenXR support.
Prices and availability
Both the HTC VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker are already available in stores. The Facial Tracker has an MSRP of 100 euros plus VAT, while the Eye Tracker comes in at 260 euros plus VAT.