Eye-tracking headsets from Fove receive investment from Samsung Ventures after surpassing Kickstarter goal
The rise in Virtual Reality (VR) devices has gained another major supporter in the form of a major investment by Samsung.
The South Korean firm’s Samsung Ventures arm has announced it has given funding to Fove, a San Francisco-based company which says it is launching the world’s first eye-tracking VR headset.
Samsung Ventures’ investment comes after the company met its original funding goal on crowdfunding site Kickstarter in May, and could well see Samsung release a VR device in the coming months.
Fove’s headset uses eye-tracking technology to let users focus on specific areas of a scene and aim computer game weapons using just their eyes.
It is available now to pre-order for $375, with Fove hoping to start shipping the initial run of devices in Spring 2016.
“We believe Fove will launch a competitive VR device in the market soon,” said Ik Hyun Lim, head of Samsung Ventures Japan.
“Our investment in FOVE is evidence of our belief in FOVE’s superior technology and we believe FOVE will launch a competitive VR device in the market soon.”
Neither Fove or Samsung Ventures would disclose the exact amount of the investment, but Fove did state that the funding would allow them to include extra functionality into the device. This is thought to be Lighthouse compatibility, a technology which helps improve the locationing service of a VR headset, or support for the OpenVR API, which will allow the headset to support SteamVR games
The VR market has enjoyed somewhat of an upswing in recent months, as several major manufacturers capture public interest with new devices.
Most notably, Oculus announced earlier this month that the consumer-facing version of its Rift headset will go on sale early next year, featuring native support for Windows 10 and Xbox gaming.
Microsoft has also made waves with its upcoming HoloLens headset, which looks to target both gamers and real-life industry customers. It uses high-definition lenses, sensors, and a Holographic Processor Unit (HPU) that can create holographic projections, adapt to environments and user activity and process terabyte of data in real time.
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