Fove eye-tracking VR headset redesigned ahead of launch

Futuristic 'third-gen' VR platform promises a whole new virtual experience
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Fove VR has been redesigned ahead of the first developer kits being shipped. Gone are the big side panels and quite a lot of the heft of the last prototype design - the company promises the new model offers "dramatically reduced weight, size and overall wearability, as well as better production efficiency."

Fove VR differs from the likes of Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR because it offers interactive eye-tracking. It was first announced at the end of 2014 and was subsequently shown off at CES in January 2015.

It hit Kickstarter in May raised $480,650 before getting a boost from Samsung Ventures a month later. In March this year $11 million was pumped into the company to accelerate mass production.

It's expected to start shipping to backers and developers in the fall.

Essential reading: The best VR headsets

Inside the headset lies an infrared sensor that monitors a wearer's eyes - offering not only a new control method but also an edge on its competitors when it comes to realism.

Because, while it will be cool to make eye contact with characters in games, have a monster jump out of his cave if you look his way, or even have your eye movements replicated in your MMORPG's avatar - all possible with Fove's headset - it's the "reality" aspects that excite us the most.

For example, in the real world, your eye's have a central focal point with the edges naturally blurred. In the virtual world, with a flat display, this is a lot more difficult to replicate.

With Fove, simulated depth-of-field is possible, due to the system knowing exactly what you're looking at and, as a result, the virtual should appear more real. This focal pin-pointing also allows for foveated rendering; a method of reducing the processing demands by calculating a wearer's gaze and forcing the graphics engine to adjust focus and allocate rendering resources accordingly.

We told you it was futuristic sounding.

Fove eye-tracking VR headset redesigned ahead of launch

This was the original Fove VR headset design

On the spec-sheet the Fove setup sounds equally exciting - a 5.7-inch, 1440p, display; a 100+ degree field of view; 90fps frame rate; and eye-tracking measured at 120fps.

At one point there were murmurs that Fove would use HTC's Lighthouse positional tracking but that idea was scraped in favour of keeping the tech in house.

Stay tuned to Wareable, we'll be bringing you a Fove review as soon as we've got our hands on one (and our head in one). You can sign up to the waitlist at if you're interested in buying one.

Fove eye-tracking VR headset redesigned ahead of launch


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Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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