Say cheese, facial-tracking is heading to Vive Pro & Vive Pro Eye.
This week HTC Vive America’s Vice President of Product and Operations–Vinay Narayan–revealed plans for a developer kit that adds lip-tracking capabilities to the HTC Vive Pro & Vive Pro Eye.
During their presentation, Narayan confirmed the upcoming release of an seperate detattachable module capable of tracking the movements of a users mouth while in headset and collecting information on the specific movements in real-time. Supposedly, this module will work in tandem with a facial tracking SDK that will be made available for developers.
As of right now, HTC has no intention of releasing a commercial version of the module, focusing instead on enterprise purposes, such as training, market research, and simulations. According to a report by RoadtoVR, this lip-tracking technology will be designed primarily for “research and experimentation”.
In terms of specifics, HTC is remaining tight-lipped. Of course there are plenty of potential use-case scenarios in which this kind of technology could be utilized, from creating more intimate social interactions with realistic facial expressions, to tracking and analyzing the emotions or reactions of a user throughout a VR experience.
Reports indicate the module could be located below Vive Pro visor, and will most likely use some form of a camera to track lip and mouth movements. It’s likely the attachment will connect to the Pro’s currently unused USB port for power and data transfer; of course there is the possibility of wireless communication.
Combined with the eye-tracking capability of the HTC Vive Pro Eye, this additional module could deliver a new method of facial tracking functionality for the Vive ecosystem.