HTC now sells face tracking and eye tracking add-ons for Vive Focus 3.
Vive Focus 3 is HTC’s standalone VR headset designed for businesses, priced at $1299. The Eye Tracker is priced at $249 and the Facial Tracker at $99, so the total price with both add-ons comes to $1647. Both add-ons can be used simultaneously since Focus 3 has two USB-C ports.
The Eye Tracker features two 60Hz infrared (IR) cameras with IR illuminators. It comes as a full insert which attaches magnetically underneath the facial gasket and connects to the primary USB-C port on the side. HTC claims it’s accurate to within 0.5°~1.1° after the 9 point calibration process. As well as tracking where you’re currently looking, it also tracks pupil size and eye openness, enabling blink and wink detection.
HTC claims the eye tracker even supports foveated rendering, a technique where only the small area you’re currently looking at is rendered at full resolution in order to increase performance or enable greater graphical fidelity.
The Facial Tracker attaches to the front of the Focus 3 and connects via the secondary USB-C port present there. It uses a single 60Hz camera with a wide angle lens. As it weighs only 10 grams it shouldn’t add noticeable extra weight against your face. HTC says it tracks 38 blend shapes across the lips, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth, and tongue, the same as the Vive Pro Facial Tracker.
These new add-ons arrive just one month before the launch of Meta’s high end headset Quest Pro, codenamed Project Cambria. Quest Pro’s headline new features include face and eye tracking. Rather than launching an entirely new headset to compete, HTC seems to have found a way to upgrade its existing offering. A prominent supply chain analyst claims Quest Pro will have lower resolution than Focus 3, but has Mini-LED backlighting which offers superior contrast. Quest Pro will also have color passthrough and a depth sensor for mixed reality, which Focus 3 doesn’t have.
Developers can currently integrate eye and face tracking using the Vive Wave SDK – HTC says OpenXR support is coming in the future. Both devices can also send the eye and face tracking data to PC VR applications when using HTC’s Wi-Fi streaming feature. The add-ons are already available for purchase from the Vive Business accessory store.