HTC reveals Vive Pro Eye VR headset with built-in eye tracking

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Today at HTC's CES 2019 press conference, the company dropped major news about two new headsets: The HTC Vive Cosmos and the HTC Vive Pro Eye.

That HTC, which reported a 62 percent drop in revenue year-on-year in its last earnings call, is hoping for virtual reality to revitalise its business is no secret: The company has been pushing its Vive platform heavily, from launching the high-end Vive Pro and self-contained Vive Focus to announcing software subscription offerings, big-budget film tie-ins, in-house studios, and even accelerator and venture capital programmes created to boost uptake of VR technology. The device can be set up with relative ease and has a flip-up design which allows users to lift the headset's main body in front of their eyes without having to take off the entire device. According to HTC, 85 percent of VR users say ease of us is the most important feature of a VR headset. There's also no external tracking required.

Virtual reality is taking off in a big way. HTC is aiming to launch the new Vive Pro Eye headset variant in the second quarter of this year, but it hasn't revealed pricing at this time.

So come on HTC - let's hear more about this Cosmos headset.

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If you've ever used a virtual reality headset, you know that it tracks a lot of things including your head and hands to ensure a seamless, immersive experience.

The most notable product announcement is the HTC Vive Pro Eye (shown above), an upgraded version of its popular Vive Pro. Cosmos also boasts a design that sees the front of the headset lift upward from your eyes rather than slipping on and off. The new hardware enables experiences that aren't possible without tracking the user's eyes, including gaze-oriented menu navigation and the ability to control the VR experience without using controllers.

HTC has also announced that it has partnered with Mozilla to bring the Firefox Reality browser to Vive. Cosmos is usable both at home or on the go, according to HTC. "VR and AR need to be about experiences, not applications", he said.

HTC also announced a new subscription service for Viveport called Infinite, which will give you access to 500 apps and games and any given time starting April 5.