HTC Vive Pro Eye Released in North America for $1,599
The HTC Vive Pro Eye virtual reality headset, already released in Europe less than a month ago, has now hit the North American market with the enterprise-level headset going for $1,599 which is lower than the $2000 price in other markets. However, in spite of the lower costs, US and Canadian buyers may have to grapple with some additional costs.
The Vive Pro Eye is an upgrade over the original Vive headset. It is a business-focused headset that enables enterprise users to deploy the eye-tracking functionality in capturing detailed data analysis through a real-time user feedback. It also allows companies to gain useful insights on the user behavior and the decision-making process of users. The eye-tracking functionality can also be deployed in helping trainees hone up their skills via an intelligent performance feedback. Brands and stores can leverage the functionality in order to improve their product placement through heatmapping.
Eye-tracking is especially applicable in the gaming sphere where it can be used for gaze-based menu navigation or for the natural interactions between the player and non-player characters. The foveated rendering benefit will focus the CPU only on the spot where the user is looking while blurring the rest thereby helping maximize on the image quality and computing efficiency.
The screen resolution (2880 x1600 pixels) has improved considerably over the original and it also comes with an integrated eye tracking functionality. The eye tracking in the Vive Pro Eye can be deployed as a form of input or even as foveated rendering. Foveated rendering refers to a rendering technique where the area of the screen that the user is staring at is fully rendered while the remaining of the display is blurred which helps in cutting down on the processing power on the PC which is running the virtual reality headset.
The headset features the OLED screen technology with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,600 pixels. It is also upgradeable to the standard Vive Pro with the main point of differentiation being the Tobii eye-tracking hardware which provides foveated rendering. The Vive Pro Eye also comes bundled with two tracking base stations and two of HTC’s 2018 hand controllers. Developers will be able to build apps that players will be able to substantially manipulate using their eyes in conjunction with moving cursors and the ability to pick items simply by using their gazes.
The base pricing of $1,599 covers all that has been mentioned above in addition to a DisplayPort cable, link box, the required power adapters, the USB 3 cable along with cleaning and earphone adjustment parts. The price does not factor in taxes so it will somewhat go up when that is factored in although HTC is providing free shipping for the headsets. If you find the costs are too high, you can opt for the Vive Pro Eye financing plan that HTC is providing in partnership with PayPal which will allow buyers to latch onto a 24-month installment plan with a monthly payment of $73. Th is will add up to $1, 746 over a period of 2 years.
You can also opt for the Vive Pro Eye Advantage services package for enterprises. This costs $200 in North America or £198 ($252) in Europe. The package adds some extra benefits including a 24-hour email response guarantee, 2-year warranty along with an expedited repairs service for the HTC Vive Pro Eye hardware bundle. This service package has been recommended for the enterprise customers but it hasn’t been pushed hard as was the case during the Chinese and European launches.
The HTC Vive Pro Eye is already in stock so it can be shipped immediately. Users that don’t prefer the eye-tracking hardware can opt for an identical experience with the less costly standard Vive Pro headset which goes for $1,399.