FOVE, the first VR headset that tracks your eyes as well as your head, has been made available to pre-order.
Headsets will begin shipping to original Kickstarter backers by the end of 2016, while all other preorders will begin shipping early next year.
FOVE is able to track eye movement by virtue of custom small form-factor infrared sensors inside the headset. These sensors bounce light off the retina to register how the eyes are angled.
Users can then control games and apps using eye movements, and virtual characters are capable of perceiving users’ gaze.
FOVE is targeting the entertainment, education, gaming and medical industries with its gaze control in virtual reality interfaces. The technology has already enable a patient with muscular dystrophy to play a piano with his eyes.
“Eye-tracking is really critical for VR control,” said Yuka Kojima, CEO of Fove, in an interview with GamesBeat. “For me, it’s so natural. This is for early adopters now. But soon we think it will be a world standard.”
To give FOVE an initial boost it is being made available with a $50 discount for one week only, so it is available for $549.
Its makers have also partnered with 7,000 internet cafes in Japan and Korea. Through this partnership FOVE already has access to 25 million monthly users.
The headset has a OLED screen (2560 x 1440), with a frame rate of 70 frames per second. It has a 100-degree field-of-view.
It uses a 120 FPS infrared eye-tracking system and two cameras, and has HDMI, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 connectors. The headset connects to a Windows PC, and it requires a system with an Intel Core i5-4590 or better and 8GB of memory.
FOVE also requires a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD R9 290 or greater GPU.
In terms of content 250-plus Steam VR titles are compatible with the device and FOVE have partnered with OSVR to make more titles available.
Live demos of the headset, including “Project Falcon,” a first-person rail-shooter developed in partnership with creative production company, Rewind, will be held at the VRDC event in San Francisco.