Sorry for not reporting too much news on MTBS lately. We’ve been very busy putting the Immersed conference together. Less than two weeks to go before the show takes place, so get yourself registered!
For those unfamiliar, FOVE (born from “fovea”) is a new HMD that is being developed in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program. What makes this product unique is it’s being designed from the ground up to have eye tracking by default. Eye tracking is important because it lets developers make characters seem like they can stare right back at you, or when dealing with super high resolution panels, “foveated rendering” means you only have to have high resolution pixel counts rendered directly where you are looking so computer power isn’t wasted on space you can’t see. This would effectively save a lot of processing time and enable VR rendering and super low latency which would be far more difficult otherwise.
MTBS got a chance to get an early look at FOVE’s eye tracking HMD prototype in all its glory at SIGGRAPH 2014. However, we were sworn to secrecy for pictures, specs, etc. The above picture was taken for humor, but even then – we would have needed approval. It’s the journalists code to honor this.
Our reward for honoring this is getting the go-ahead to share specs you won’t find elsewhere (first). What is publicly known is their display panel is currently WQHD or 2560 X 1440 running at 60Hz through HDMI; the limit of the HDMI 1.4A spec at this resolution. It’s also running at 20ms latency, and they are aiming to have this reduced to just 5ms. What isn’t public is the eye tracking is running at 60hz, and we’re told the algorithm is FAST. The eye tracking is accurate to less than a single degree. In both cases, FOVE is confident they will be able to significantly improve the eye tracking specifications.