A startup that’s part of HTC’s Vive X accelerator program is working on a new accessory that adds eye tracking functionality to the well-received room-scale virtual reality headset.
Beijing-based company 7invensun plans to open pre-orders for its aGlass lenses next month and will sell them in China for $220 USD, which comes to approximately $300 CAD. UploadVR says that the aGlass lens is set to release internationally in the third-quarter of 2017, so those interested in this accessory will need to wait a few more months to get their hands on it.
The aGlass consists of two eyepieces that fit inside the Vive headset, complete with three pair of interchangeable lenses. The company says they’re easy to install and that any Vive owner, regardless of their level of technical expertise, should be able to hook up the accessory. The devices are connected to the Vive via USB and allow the headset to track pupil movement through infrared sensor and lights.
It’s unclear how well 7invensun’s aGlass accessory works, but given how limiting the Vive’s controller wands are, pupil tracking could fill a much-needed control voice in the VR ecosystem. Of course the accessories’ success is directly related to whether developers working in the VR space opt to support aGlass.
Late last year HTC unveiled an upgraded strap for the Vive called the Deluxe Audio Strap and an independent sensor called the Vive Tracker, allowing users to bring external accessories into a virtual reality experience.