Publication date

  • September 22, 2015

Tobii announces eye tracking VR initiative and collaboration with Starbreeze

Stockholm — September 22, 2015 — Tobii , the global leader in eye tracking, today announced an initiative to develop its industry-leading eye tracking technology for virtual reality. One early step is a collaboration together with Starbreeze, a leading gaming and content studio. The project will combine both companies’ expertise in eye tracking and VR to integrate Tobii's technology into the StarVR head-mounted display (HMD).

Virtual reality is still in the early stages, but the industry has high-set expectations to produce revolutionary experiences. A few barriers to widespread adoption remain—some of which eye tracking is expected to solve. For instance, it can help enhance graphics performance, save power and reduce CPU load through so-called foveated rendering. Eye tracking will also be able to create entirely new experiences that provide an unparalleled level of immersion in VR.

Tobii aims to provide custom eye-tracking integration solutions for VR HMD manufacturers. Tobii has extensive experience in researching and developing wearable eye-tracking devices used for consumer and behavior studies performed by some of the world's largest brands. Leveraging this, together with its world-leading eye-tracking algorithms, optics expertise and ASIC development resources, the company is now developing eye-tracking technology optimized for VR. Tobii’s VR eye tracking solutions will provide accurate, low-latency, low-cost and reliable tracking of pupil position and gaze direction, available as either a dedicated ASIC or using host-based processing.

“Eye tracking provides VR with missing elements that are needed to deliver on its promise of truly immersive experiences. Significant innovation is still required before eye tracking will be ready for large-scale implementation in VR, but we are invested for the long run,” said Oscar Werner, president of Tobii Tech. “We take an open approach to innovation and invite everyone that wants to collaborate—HMD manufacturers, game and movie studios, chipmakers and others—to join us on the exciting journey ahead.”

Starbreeze is an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality gaming and entertainment products. On course to develop some of the most promising VR experiences by developing both software and hardware for the StarVR head-mounted display, the company is now exploring the possibilities of Tobii eye tracking integration.

“VR is all about experience. When that experience is inhibited by the ability to render realistic and immersive environments, it’s a roadblock to creating world-class content and experiences our customers love and consistently expect us to deliver,” said Emmanuel Marquez, CTO of Starbreeze AB. “Partnering with Tobii, the clear leader in eye tracking, allows us to solve this limitation, benefitting the VR industry as a whole, while also allowing us to deliver the highest-quality and most immersive film and gaming content ever experienced.”

Tobii encourages hardware manufacturers and game developers to unleash their creativity in using eye tracking to improve VR experiences. A few examples of the possibilities include:

  • Gaze-prioritized graphics (also known as foveated rendering) – VR graphics can be improved and optimized by, for instance, rendering graphics with higher resolution in the region where the user is looking.
  • VR comfort – Comfort in the VR experience can be improved by more precise graphics rendering based on data about the position and direction of the eyes.
  • Gaming immersion – Harnessing natural eye movement, environments and characters can be made more realistic and interactive in games through:
    • Natural targeting To pick up or throw an object, instead of pointing towards the object through head movement, users only need to look at the object to interact with it. This interaction is natural, intuitive and seamless because it so closely mimics real life.
    • Eye contact This fundamental non-verbal communication is critical to our interaction with others. Bringing the same principle to character interaction in a film or game makes users even more deeply immersed. Characters can come to life, interact or ignore you based on eye contact.
    • Immersive graphics and sound– Scary or surprising reactions can be created by knowing what users are paying attention to. Sounds, for instance and characters may appear from where users are not currently looking.

Additionalinformation

  • Learn more about StarVR, the world’s only 210⁰ field-of-view virtual reality HMD.
  • HMD suppliers and developers interested in creating the next generation eye tracking-optimized hardware and immersive gaming and VR content should contact Tobii at tobii.read@tobii.com.

Tobii discloses this information pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication on September 22, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. CET.


Documentation & media


About Tobii

Tobii is the global leader in eye tracking and pioneer of attention computing. Creating tech for a better future, our technologies and solutions apply to areas such as behavioral studies and research, healthcare, education and training, gaming, extended reality, automotive, and many more. Headquartered in Sweden, Tobii is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (TOBII). For more information: www.tobii.com.

Publication date

  • September 22, 2015

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Tobii is the global leader in eye tracking and pioneer of attention computing. Creating tech for a better future, our technologies and solutions apply to areas such as behavioral studies and research, healthcare, education and training, gaming, extended reality, automotive, and many more. Headquartered in Sweden, Tobii is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (TOBII). For more information: www.tobii.com.