Earlier this year Tobii and HTC Vive partnered to bring foveated rendering tech to the new HTC Vive Pro Eye. Now, Tobii is opening its platform up for others to use.
At Siggraph this week the company announced Tobii Spotlight Technology. It’s essentially the same tech already utilized in Vive Pro Eye. Tobii’s eye-tracking technology is able to decipher the specific area of a VR display the user is looking at. The headset then only fully renders the direct center of that area. Areas away from the center of your vision aren’t fully rendered. This is imperceptible to your peripheral vision.
This drastically reduces the strain on hardware processing a VR experience. As such, foveated rendering is largely considered to be one of the key components of bringing VR costs down in the future. A Tobii spokesperson told UploadVR that “Spotlight Technology is intended to support a variety of headsets, including both tethered and standalone headsets.” News on software development kits (SDKs) for Spotlight will also be coming “soon.”
Our benchmarking test measured GPU shading load reduction of 57% at an average shading rate of 16% using @nvidia #VRS and @htcvive#VIVEProEye. #FoveatedRendering #EyeTracking pic.twitter.com/LEXpSagwyt
— Tobii Group (@TobiiTechnology) July 29, 2019
Specific partners weren’t announced today. Vive Pro Eye is an enterprise-level headset, though. Hopefully this news means we’ll start to see eye-tracking in other, consumer-focused devices soon.
Tobii did provide its own benchmarking results for using dynamic foveated rendering in Epic’s ShowdownVR app with the Vive Pro Eye running on Nvidia RTX 2070. You can see those results above, though obviously take note that these are company-generated stats and not something we can verify ourselves.