Asia’s VR innovators are fast making a name for themselves, as new companies race to solve the biggest challenges in making VR technology consumer friendly. Now South Korea-based VisualCamp claims to have developed an eye tracking technology for Virtual Reality Head Mount Displays that allows user to input signals by just moving their eyes.
Providing an easy input system has been a challenge for VR players in the market. This June, Oculus introduced Oculus Touch, but the system still requires users to buy another input device that includes analog trigger, buttons and analog thumb sticks along with the core VR head-mounted display.
Using VisualCamp, users can supposedly ‘click’ the buttons with their eyes, negating the need for additional input devices. Eye tracking data can also be analyzed. Using the technology, the company developed its own VR device utilizing 3D printing technology, with a price tag under $100 USD.
“In our PC user test demo, users adapted to eye typing within three hours and could type quickly, at the speed of 75 English characters per minute. We are now developing the eye typing technology for VR head-mounted displays,” company CEO and co-founder Charles Seok said.
Founded in November 2014, the Seoul-based company received angel investment from Hanbat Angel Investment and seed investment from Koisra Seed Partners. It was also given a $500,000 USD Korean government grant, along with an $80,000 USD grant from SK Telecom. Recently, the company beat out 400 other companies to win free office space on Google’s Seoul campus.
“The current competitor in the market is Fove, which also allows eye tracking and uses an integrated head-mounted device, sold at $350 USD,” Mr. Seok said. However he believes VisualCamp’s competitive advantage is it wider application to smartphone VR.
“If VisualCamp’s hardware technology is integrated, it has the ability to work with devices like google cardboard” Mr. Park said.
VisualCamp’s technology can be adapted to VR games, movies, sports and toys. Companies can also use the products to test new product design by analyzing where the users focus their eyes when they first see the product. “It can collect user’s interest data… saving time and money,” Company CMO Jason Park added.
VisualCamp hopes their revenue will come from selling their VR eye tracking software license to head-mounted display manufacturers as well as VR eye tracking analysis service to content and game developers.
Image Credit: VisualCamp