The new StarVR head-mounted display debuted at the SIGGRAPH 2018 technology event in Vancouver today. The StarVR One, as it is called, adds a suite of new features and improves on some of the standout specs of the original device — although the company did not share details on the price.
StarVR’s headsets have floated around trade shows for years. I tried one way back at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in 2015. Since then, Acer has acquired a majority of the company that was game developer Starbreeze founded. And the StarVR headsets have popped up in location-based VR attractions that companies like IMAX run. With the StarVR One, the company continues to target enterprise and professional VR installations.
And the reason that an IMAX or other VR-curious entities are interested in StarVR over the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive is because the One comes packed with a lot of technology. It has expanded on the massive viewing angles of the original to cover 210 degrees horizontally and 130 degrees vertically. The company claims this covers almost the entire human field of view, which should eliminate the diving mask-like effect you get from Vive Pro and Rift.
The StarVR One also integrates Tobii’s accurate eye-tracking technology. This can tell where on a screen you are looking, which enables dynamic foveated rendering. This saves processing power by rendering where your eyes are looking in perfect clarity while holding back resources from other parts of the scene.
“StarVR continues its legacy of innovation that pushes past the barriers standing in the way of enterprise-grade VR experiences,” StarVR Corporation chief technology officer Emmanuel Marquez said. “StarVR is blazing new trails to deliver breakthrough technology for a new world of realism to support real business decisioning and value creation. With our StarVR One headset we are conquering the VR final frontier – the enterprise.”
StarVR has also worked to make the One appealing to businesses by making it work with multiple positional tracking systems. Out of the box, it works with the SteamVR 2.0 trackers, which are work in an area as large as 1,000 square feet. It also features distinct visual markings to work with camera-based optical tracking as well. This frees up creators to build the experience that works for their business.
And that eye-tracking might appeal to enterprise for marketing reasons as well. In its press release, StarVR says that this technology “unleashes a new world of commercial possibilities to leverage user intent data for content gaze analysis and improved interactivity.” To translate that, companies can get data on what you are looking at when you use its StarVR One headsets, and they can use that info to improve their experiences or to sell you things.
Finally, StarVR is working with a number of partners including Intel, Nvidia, and Epic Games. So a company wanting to get StarVR headsets to build an experience can also talk with Intel about its multithreaded CPUs, with Nvidia about its workstation Quadro GPUs, and Epic about its Unreal Engine development kit. Slap all of that together with a handful of recent computer-science graduates and artists, and you should have a VR experience ready to go in no time.