Game over for joysticks? Fove virtual reality headset lets players aim and interact with characters using just their EYES

  • Fove is the first virtual reality headset to use eye-tracking technology
  • The device allows users to interact with virtual characters through emotion
  • Originally built to allow disabled children to learn the piano
  • Kickstarter campaign has launched to fund production of the device, which will cost from $349 (£225) for early bird backers

Gamers could soon be dropping their joysticks and pushing their mouse to one side as eye-control becomes the latest way to play games.

Using the movement of the head and eyes, gamers using the Fove virtual reality device will be able to control games with the blink of an eye.

The unique tracking technology will let a player use their eyes to control guns and tools, stare to pull up dashboard or information panels, and emotionally interact with characters to attract their attention.

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Using the movement of the head and eyes, gamers using the Fove virtual reality device (pictured) will be able to control games with the blink of an eye

Using the movement of the head and eyes, gamers using the Fove virtual reality device (pictured) will be able to control games with the blink of an eye

By making eye contact with virtual characters possible, gamers will also be able to use expressions and emotions to communicate and even influence actions.

Having initially been built to help disabled children learn the piano, Fove is using Kickstarter to raise $250,000 (£161,000) to bring the device to market.

If successful, the founders will let developers and gamers fully utilise the device's capability. 

The device combines a 2560x1440 VR display with both eye-tracking and motion tracking, allowing users to fully explore 360-degree virtual worlds using both their head and eyes. 

The device projects the wearer's gaze into 3D space, enabling them to quickly and accurately communicate with and control the virtual environment. 

The unique tracking technology will let a player use their gaze to control guns and tools (illustrated), stare to pull up dashboard or information panels, and emotionally interact with characters to attract their attention

The unique tracking technology will let a player use their gaze to control guns and tools (illustrated), stare to pull up dashboard or information panels, and emotionally interact with characters to attract their attention

The device (pictured) combines a 2560x1440 VR display with both eye-tracking and motion tracking, allowing users to fully explore 360-degree virtual worlds using both their head and eyes

The device (pictured) combines a 2560x1440 VR display with both eye-tracking and motion tracking, allowing users to fully explore 360-degree virtual worlds using both their head and eyes

FOVE HEADSET SPECIFICATIONS 

Weight: 400g 

Display: 5.8-inches (14.7 cm) 

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Field of View: 100+ degrees 

Frame Rate: 60 fps (90 fps projected) 

Sensors: Two small form-factor infrared eye tracking systems

Connections: USB 3.0  

With Fove, eyes are used for enhanced input control, providing faster, more accurate, and more natural input than with traditional mouse, keyboard, or controller as these were originally invented for 2D games and applications.

And the technology isn't just able to detect larger movements such as the eyes, but also uses the pupils' reaction to light. 

Founders of the project claim that by being able to calculate the subtle changes in both pupils, it can present virtual environments with realistic depth of field.

Yuka Kojima, CEO and Co-Founder of Fove, explained:, 'Our eye-tracking technology is able to read very subtle eye movements and translate these into user-intention and emotion. By adding this extra recognition we are bringing real human connection into virtual reality.'

As well as being used in gaming and interactive cinema, the technology can also be used in real-world applications, such in medicine, education, virtual tourism and for conferences.

By making eye contact with virtual characters possible (illustrated), gamers will be able to use expressions and emotions to communicate and even influence actions

By making eye contact with virtual characters possible (illustrated), gamers will be able to use expressions and emotions to communicate and even influence actions

Lochlainn Wilson, Fove's co-founder said: 'Beyond gaming, we are even working with schools and institutions, enabling people with physical disabilities to play the piano, as we demonstrated with our Eye Play the Piano project.'

The founders now plan to work with content developers to provide more games and films for Fove users.

With the success of crowdfunding, developer kits will be shipped by the third quarter of this year, ahead of the official launch of Oculus Rift in 2015.

The Fove device is available to pre-order on Kickstarter from $349 (£225) for early bird backers.

The Fove device (specifications above)  is available to pre-order on Kickstarter from $349 (£225) for early bird backersand should ship later this year - just before the Oculus Rift is released early in 2016

The Fove device (specifications above)  is available to pre-order on Kickstarter from $349 (£225) for early bird backersand should ship later this year - just before the Oculus Rift is released early in 2016

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