After hyping everyone up recently with a short teaser video, eye-tracking specialists Tobii have revealed more details and video examples their eye tracking in action at GDC, including integration with social VR application Rec Room.
We wrote recently about Tobii‘s cunning and quietly impressive teaser video which showed a small glimpse at what the company might be prepping to demonstrate at GDC this week. Well the company has revealed more examples of VR eye-tracking integration in a series of short videos covering various use cases.
As we wrote then, Swedish company Tobii, who has specialised in eye tracking since its inception in 2001, have produced hardware for gaze detection hardware in various guises for some time now, and has recently announced plans to bring its tech to virtual reality, via a $50M funding round.
The first video is a repeat of the teaser which snuck onto subreddit /r/vive last week. We called it “unnervingly effective” at the time and indeed it still is. The demo is of a virtual avatar, standing in front of two virtual mirrors, demonstrating how much more relatable the character shown in the right hand mirror (showing eye tracking enabled) than the left (sans eye tracking).
Next up is a snippet of gameplay from virtual reality social and multiplayer gaming app Rec Room, with the developer Against Gravity apparently having integrated Tobii’s technology with the application. In this case, two players enjoy a game of poker, a brilliantly simple example of how subtle ticks and tells betrayed by your eyes movements can impact social interactions while gaming. As Tobii put it:
Eye tracking can help you actually merge with your character, making interactions with the virtual world become more seamless – Just glance at another character in the VR world and watch the character react accordingly.
Finally, a demo which shows how input taken from gaze detection can be used directly to control aspects of a VR gameworld.
Using eye tracking the game can better understand where you are looking making aiming feel more realistic and consistent. Instead of needing to perfectly position your body before the throw you can focus on using the right amount of force and angle to hit your target bullseye.
However, we still have no details on how the eye tracking works, how it’s integrated or what the plans are to implement said tracking going forward. We’re trying to dig up more details at GDC this week.