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Acer unveils StarVR One headset with built-in Tobii eye-tracking tech

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Acer's new VR headset will have you looking pretty badass -- but it definitely isn't small.
Acer’s new VR headset will have you looking pretty badass — but it definitely isn’t small.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Acer’s latest VR headset sure isn’t compact, but at least it’s mighty powerful.

The original StarVR headset launched in 2016 as the only VR headset with a 5K display and now Acer’s returned to the IFA tech show in Berlin with the StarVR One, an upgraded version with built-in eye-tracking technology.

Billed as the “world’s most advanced VR headset with integrated eye-tracking,” the StarVR One is not for the typical VR hobbyist, but instead for commercial and enterprise use.

The marquee feature on the headset is, of course, the built-in Tobii eye-tracking. Over the last few years, the eye-tracking tech has slowly made its way into consumer products such as gaming laptops and gaming monitors and now it’s embedded inside of a VR headset.

It’ll be up to software developers to figure out how they want to integrate the eye-tracking into their VR experiences (shooting down helicopters just by looking at them would be fun). 

The eye-tracking tech is also used to help create the best image quality for each individual user. Acer says the StarVR One headset “automatically measures interpupillary distance” (that’s the distance between the center of a person’s two pupils) in order to always deliver image quality that’s in focus.

Integrated eye-tracking is neat and could very well unlock entirely new VR experiences that don’t require wand or hand-like controllers. 

Yep, it still looks clunky.

Yep, it still looks clunky.

The VR headset is still a beast, otherwise. It’s still got the same 5K-resolution, super fast 90 frames per second refresh rate, and 210-degree horizontal and 130-degree vertical field of view (FOV) as the original StarVR headset. Just for comparison’s sake, the Oculus Rift and even the newer HTC Vive Pro only have a 110-degree horizontal FOV.

And though it looks clunky compared to the sleeker and more rounded Rift and Vive, the StarVR One headset’s quite light: 450 grams versus 470 grams for the Rift and Vive Pro, and 555 grams for the regular Vive.

Don’t expect the StarVR One headset to make it into homes anytime soon. Though it’s mainly for commercial and enterprise use — it’ll probably pop up in some VR arcades — we hope all of the tech crammed inside of the headset trickles down to consumer headsets eventually.

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