Eye tracking could tremendously improve future PlayStation VR experiences
Best answer: Eye tracking technology allows a device to track the position and motion of your eyes using a sensor. It should enhance your VR experience by reducing eye strain, increasing performance and resolution, and creating more immersive games.
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What is eye tracking?
Eye tracking is a sensor technology that can tell exactly where a person’s gaze is focused. It allows the device you are using to track the position and motion of your eyes relative to your head and the screen.
Do any VR headsets currently use eye tracking?
Eye tracking was previously used predominately in the medical field, but virtual reality headset manufacturers have taken note of how important this technology is to the future of VR. Though a lot of VR headsets don’t use eye tracking just yet, the HTC Vive Pro Eye does, and will be the first mainstream headset on the market to do so. Oculus, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and PlayStation are also looking to implement eye tracking into future VR and AR headsets, but none currently use it.
How will eye tracking benefit PlayStation 5 VR?
Eye tracking in virtual reality games adds a whole new level of depth to the experience. Games will become more responsive and accurate as the AI will be able to read where your focus is and process the interactions accordingly. It can also reduce strain on your eyes during these scenarios by measuring your inter-pupillary distance and adjusting the position of the lenses.
By studying where your gaze naturally rests and where your focus lies on the lenses, it is also possible to improve the UI design in menus, games, and apps.
Is a new VR headset launching alongside the PlayStation 5?
Unfortunately, it sounds like the PlayStation 5 will launch without a new VR headset to accompany it. Sony Global Head of R&D for PlayStation Dominic Mallinson is on the record stating that he does not believe a new VR headset will launch alongside the PS5 because “there’s no reason for us to coincide it with a new console.”
“From the point of view of the consumer, to be bombarded with many many things — oh, you have to buy this, you have to buy that — is a message that we don’t want to send,” Mallinson said. “In some ways, it’s good to have a little breathing space between those things.”
But when the next iteration of PlayStation VR does release, Mallinson would like it to have eye tracking. “That’s the one that excites me the most… I think there will come a point in time in the not too distant future when you cannot launch a VR headset without eye tracking.”
Thankfully the current PlayStation VR headset on the market should be compatible with PlayStation 5.
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Your PS4 is already VR-ready
PlayStation VR may not have eye tracking just yet, but you can still have a fantastic virtual reality experience in it. Try it out for yourself to get a taste of what is possible even without eye tracking technology.