SMI Unveils Foveated Rendering: Paving The Way For A Richer Virtual Reality Experience

Once called the "Holy Grail" of VR, foveated rendering at 250Hz is now available on SensoMotoric Instruments' Consumer Ready Eye Tracking Platform

Jan 05, 2016, 09:34 ET from SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH (SMI)

LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show 2016, German eye tracking leader SensoMotoric Instruments has unveiled the "Holy Grail" of virtual reality - foveated rendering - thanks to the implementation of an industry best 250Hz frame rate and SMI's hyper efficient high performance eye tracking algorithms.

Foveated rendering is the process of rendering at full resolution only the part of an image that the user is focusing on in the head-mounted display (HMD), as tracked by eye tracking sensors. Once implemented commercially, the key benefits to VR will be natural visual perception due to better-than-retina image resolution and performance that is two to four times better on existing VR kits.

Click here to experience foveated rendering in our first look video:

"It means a lighter load on the GPU and it will be critical to the development of next-generation HMDs and VR solutions with more detailed graphics and higher screen resolutions," said SMI's Director of OEM Solutions Business Christian Villwock.

Up until now, the development of foveated rendering had been hampered by the fact that it requires very low latency in order to near instantly update the screen, so that even with fast saccadic eye movements, the user does not experience a difference in image quality anywhere on the display.

It had been branded the "Holy Grail" of VR and had been the subject of some rash claims within the industry during 2015. Mr Villwock said he will be offering personal demonstrations at CES and added that SMI's success in this area is the result of a decade of development that is now embodied in a proven, consumer-ready platform. SMI's reference designs include the Eye Tracking Upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK 2 which is proven with several thousand users.

And, given foveated rendering is dependent on eye tracking, it is set to make eye tracking a "must have" in all future HMD headsets.

"This is not just about foveated rendering, but also about how eye tracking improves social presence, general rendering to eye position and gaze interaction," Mr Villwock said. "I believe that eye tracking has to be part of every next generation HMD which means we are looking beyond those that land on the market in 2016."

Among the HMD's set to excite the market in 2016 are the HTC Vive, the Sony PlayStation VR, and the Oculus CV1.

SMI's "works with everyone" eye tracking platform is proven for VR/AR applications, streaming highly accurate eye tracking data such as gaze vector and 3D eyeball position. It is calibration-free for quick and easy setup and has fully automatic slip compensation, allowing users to move or take the headset off without any impact on data robustness.

About SMI  

SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) is a world leader in eye tracking technology, developing and marketing eye & gaze tracking systems for scientists and professionals, OEM and medical solutions for a wide range of applications. Find out more at Follow @SMIeyetracking on FacebookFlickrYouTube and Twitter.

Media Contacts
SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH (SMI)
Stefanie Gehrke


SOURCE SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH (SMI)