Facebook to add eye tracking to Oculus

Eye Tracking and VR seem like a match made in heaven. There are plenty of advantages from using Eye Tracking in VR, from efficiency to input possibilities and Facebook seems to have noticed.

Facebook recently bought a small Danish company called The Eye Tribe. They have developed some impressive eye tracking technology. They even made a modified Oculus already!

The Eye Tribe

The Eye Tribe is a small sixteen man company… They however managed to create the most used eye tracking technology.

They have already made a modified Oculus, and are working on taking their tech to android devices.

It seems like a promising group of people, however the path the company takes now that it was acquired by Facebook remains to be seen.

Oculus And Eye Tracking

There is no telling what Facebook might use the technology for… As a gamer i expect to see eye tracking implemented into VR games. But Facebook’s business is selling analytics.

What does that mean? It means Facebook may just want eye tracking to record where people look and for how long, to then sell that information to advertisers..

Personally i’m sure that’s part of Facebook’s plan, but i’m guessing that eye tracking will be available to anyone developing for the Oculus. Meaning that they should be able to use the tech as they see fit.

Eye Tracking and Performance

One of the most interesting demos from The Eye Tribe, is a simple chess game on the Oculus.

Why is it interesting? Well it blurred images that were not on your eye’s focal point. The blurred images around your focus were not noticed by most users, however the pc’s gpu sure noticed it.

Having blurry images meant the pc’s gpu had less to render, making the experience less resource intensive.

Why is this relevant? Because it would cost at least $800 to have a good VR Ready PC! However with eye tracking and blurred images outside your focal point, the pc specs are lower.

Heck they probably even help avoid Cybersickness as well!

Oculus Upcoming “Santa Cruz”

In case you don’t know “Santa Cruz” is an upcoming standalone VR headset from Oculus. It will not be tethered in any way to a pc.

This means that Santa Cruz is an independent device. Many had speculate as to how Oculus would manage to bring enough computing power into a headset to run VR.

It seems now that The Eye Tribe’s focal point tech could be implemented to reduce the processing load. Making for a much more powerful VR experience than Google Daydream or Gear VR.

Google’s Response

Whatever potential Facebook found has made Google very interested as well. So Google has followed on Facebook’s steps and bought their very own Eye Tracking company.

This one is called “Eyefluence” and does not have nearly as much time developing as The Eye Tribe.

What google plans to do with it is also intriguing… Google would probably use the technology on it’s next smart phones, and therefore be on it’s Google Daydream.

Perhaps they might start making VR Headsets or Tablets to use eye tracking?

Image Credit Dboybaker

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