SAN FRANCISCO and TELTOW, Germany, September 29, 2015 — Open source VR network adds real eye movements to avatar animations using eye tracking for Virtual Reality Headsets by SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI)
Today, High Fidelity, Inc. and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce the integration of SMI HMD Eye Tracking technology with the High Fidelity social VR platform. Alpha users with access to the eye tracking hardware, can experience real eye contact with another person on the platform’s virtual spaces. The animation is powered by SMI’s unique and proven eye tracking upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK2 which is available for VR developers and researchers. VR creators are invited to use the eye tracking integration to build life-like interaction scenarios and share them on the High Fidelity open source VR network.
Digital presences, e.g. through avatars in social VR, have to be life-like. Real-time and realistic animation of the behavior that contains the critical cues for life-like experiences is key to achieve the optimal impression. Correct gaze direction is one critical factor that plays a major role in social interaction. SMI’s eye tracking provides this cue accurately, robust and in real-time. Eye tracking inside the Oculus Rift records where exactly in the virtual scene a user is looking and enables people to make eye contact with another avatar in a virtual space.
SMI’s eye tracking upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK2 is the only high-performance eye tracking solution available and proven for VR applications. It is designed for professional and academic developers and comes with plug-ins for popular VR engines, e.g. Unity and WorldViz. It streams highly accurate 3D data such as gaze vector and eyeball position and comes with a calibration-free user mode for quick and easy setup. A fully automatic slip compensation allows users to move or take the headset on or off without impact on data robustness.
SMI also provides an OEM Eye Tracking Platform and reference designs for Virtual Reality Headsets ready for pick up by HMD manufacturers. Besides new gaze interaction experiences, adding eye tracking to VR hardware allows for optimized use of rendering resources and personalized 3D presentation.
High Fidelity is an open source virtual reality network. It uses a range of new devices such as the Oculus Rift to make the VR experience more immersive and interaction with others more life-like. The platform allows users to build complex interactive experiences using standard formats, languages and tools and to deploy shared virtual spaces to the network.
Philip Rosedale, Inventor, Founder High Fidelity & Second Life: “We need life-like avatars to convincingly recreate real-world interactions in VR such as talking, shaking hands or looking at each other. The SMI Eye Tracking Upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK2 is capable of fast, accurate tracking of the eye. At High Fidelity, we used this hardware to add real eye movements to our avatars and the experience of making eye contact with another person in a virtual space is remarkable.”
“SMI Eye Tracking technology is being used by renowned scientific institutes and professional developers,” says Christian Villwock,Director of SMI`s OEM Solutions Business. “Our platform is based on a complex set of eye model algorithms derived from two decades of experience in eye tracking for ophthalmology and eye surgery ensuring high robustness and ease of use.”
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