Eye-tracking is oft called the ‘next generation technology’ for VR headsets—lest we forget FOVE, the creators of the world’s first commercially available eye-tracking VR headset, the aptly named FOVE 0. The company has recently announced that they’ll begin shipping FOVE 0 around the world starting January 2017.

Born from a successful Kickstarter campaign back in early summer of 2015, FOVE attracted over $480,000 in crowd sourced funds along with an undisclosed amount from Samsung Ventures. In March of last year, FOVE saw $11 million Series A investment round that was set out to “support [Fove’s] goal of accelerating mass production of the device in the Fall of 2016.”

The headset is in pre-order for $599 and currently lists a February shipping date.

Because FOVE 0 is compatible with SteamVR, users would be able to play over 250 titles that are currently available right now on Steam. FOVE 0 doesn’t support Vive’s Lighthouse tracking system though, rather its own position tracking camera which comes stock with headset.


“This is the culmination of a two and half year adventure,” said Yuka Kojima, co-founder and CEO at FOVE. “We started FOVE as a small team back in 2014, and now we’re finally realizing an entirely new way for humans to interact with a virtual world.”

Kojima also announced that FOVE will focus exclusively on white headsets, subsequently discontinuing the limited edition black headsets which were made available to early pre-order customers. Kojima mentioned that FOVE will stop selling the black version by the end of January.

Oculus Acquires Eye-Tracking Company The Eye Tribe

In addition, FOVE is debuting new VR experience called Lumen at CES 2017, a non-linear VR meditation app that lets you procedurally grow a forest with just your gaze. Lumen is the result of a partnership with Framestore, an Oscar-winning VFX studio, and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR platform. FOVE says the updated version of this experience at CES “invites users to engage with the dreamlike world where the power of eye tracking causes trees to grow, flowers to blossom and colors to change.”

We have feet on the ground at CES in Las Vegas, and will be bringing hands-on articles and breaking news of all the newest AR and VR headsets.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • I really don’t see the point of eye-tracking (growing flowers, seriously ?) if not for doing foveated rendering on higher resolution screen. FOVE says nothing about higher screen res here…

    • Bryan Ischo

      There are a few other applications. Eye tracking in game allows gaze to be simulated which is a big deal for social interaction. You can also do some kinds of user input via gaze much more easily than head tracking.

      But I don’t think anyone should be surprised that this is mostly a proof of concept. Without much higher resolution screens using foveated rendering, the major advantage is definitely lost.

      • Doctor Bambi

        It also adds variable depth of focus. So if I’m looking at an object right in front of me, the background can be properly blurred and vice versa.

        • Bryan Ischo

          Hm, that is interesting, but it gets pretty weird from an eye mechanics point of view. You’ll always actually be focusing at a fixed focal plane, but the world will appear to blur objects in your view as if you were focused at a distant focal plane. I am not sure if this will make the experience feel more real or not.

          • Doctor Bambi

            It was something I picked up on in Call of the Starseed. The game blurs the background when you hold an object near the center of your view. It seems to be a pretty effective technique from that experience.

          • Flamerate1

            If the headset is tracking both eyes, then the software has gaze AND the cross of your eyes to tell the focus.

        • beestee

          Software controlled depth of field driven by gaze tracking, that could be a powerful tool in adding realism to an experience, but it seems like there is a lot of potential for error in making it believable.

      • Roy Mudie

        Is it? Supersampling is a massive improvement at the moment with huge performance hit, so while 2x is limited to GTX1080 owners at the moment it opens up the possibility to those with much lower specs.

        I’d hope that their own foveated supersampling is one of the default supported modes with this headset. I do wonder how aggressively you could tweak it, like only having a 15degree field of view even rendered at all let alone subsampling the surrounding area.

        • Bryan Ischo

          I don’t think of supersampling as being a “massive improvement” personally. It’s noticeable, but nothing is a substitute for actual pixels.

          However, I do not disagree that this is another possible benefit of foveated rendering even when applied to lower resolution displays.

  • > Because FOVE 0 is compatible with SteamVR, users would be able to play over 250 titles that are currently available right now on Steam.

    How the heck do you play all of those 250+ titles without motion controls?

    • jonas wahlbärj
      • So that 250+ is all gamepad based titles? I did not realize. That makes sense then.

    • Roy Mudie

      As Jonas points out there’s plenty of mouse and keyboard / controller supported SteamVR games, but don’t forget the majority of the Oculus catalogue can also be played with ReVive. There’s plenty of fantastic experiences out there over the last 4 years that don’t require motion controls.

    • Geeksleek

      I guess a Razer Hydra could complement the Fove. But those controllers aren’t really optimal.

  • OgreTactics

    As anyone tested how practical FOVE Apis are? I’m considering buying one depending on how good, accurate and versatile the eye-tracking and software are.