Mobile VR/AR Headsets Integrate Eye-tracking


Qualcomm and Tobii Tech have collaborated to bring eye tracking to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) displays powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform. This integration results in better AR/VR devices and also provides a better experience for the end user.

Eye tracking enables new possibilities in virtual reality – from improved HMD performance through Foveated Rendering to a range of powerfully immersive user experiences.

The companies are working on creating a full reference design and development kit for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, which includes Tobii’s EyeCore eye tracking algorithms and hardware design. Tobii will license its eye-tracking technologies and system and collaborate with HMD manufacturers on the optical solution for the reference design.


“Increased interest in the untethered, mobile VR segment, in conjunction with Qualcomm’s innovation and technology leadership in this space, further strengthens our excitement about the potential of this market opportunity for Tobii eye tracking,” said Oscar Werner, president of Tobii Tech. “At its core, eye tracking fundamentally enables hardware manufacturers to build smarter and more capable devices with greater mobility, that in turn deliver truly immersive and natural experiences to delight users.”

A noteworthy feature of Tobii’s eye-tracking technology is foveated rendering, according to which VR/AR devices become aware of where you are looking and can direct high-definition graphics processing power to that exact spot in real time. This enables higher definition displays, more efficient devices, longer battery life and increased mobility.

Other features and benefits of Tobii eye tracking in mobile VR/AR headsets include:

  • Interpupillary Distance: Devices automatically orient images to align with your pupils. This enables devices to adapt to the individual user, helping to increase the visual quality of virtual and augmented reality experiences.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: By using your eyes in harmony with your hands and associated controllers, truly natural interaction and immersion, not possible without the use of gaze, is realized.
  • Interactive Eye Contact: Devices can accurately track your gaze in real time, enabling content creators to express one of the most fundamental dimensions of human interaction – eye contact. VR technologies hold the promise of enabling a new and immersive medium for social interaction. The addition of true eye contact to virtual reality helps deliver that promise.
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Commented Hiren Bhinde, director of Product Management, XR Technologies, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We added support for Tobii’s eye tracking solution to our new Snapdragon 845 VR development kits to help developers create new experiences using a higher quality of gaze interaction that we think will ultimately provide consumers with more intuitive, visually immersive experiences.”

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