Tobii Pro VR Analytics Gives Devs Insight About Where You Gaze In VR

Tobii today introduced the Tobii Pro VR Analytics platform, which gives developers and product designers insights about what grabs your attention and where you gaze in VR environments.

Tobii is one of the leading names in eye-tracking technology, and it’s no secret that the company has a big interest in VR technology, given that the company has worked with some of the biggest names in the VR industry. Last year, Tobii demonstrated an HTC Vive with its eye-tracking hardware installed, and it partnered with Qualcomm to offer eye-tracking hardware in Qualcomm’s VR developer kit. It also recently partnered with Microsoft to standardize eye-tracking technology for VR headsets.

Tobii’s latest VR development isn’t a new piece of hardware, and it isn’t a partnership with another company. Tobii is now offering access to advanced analytics data derived from combining its eye-tracking technology with VR devices and experiences.

We’ve written about the benefits of eye-tracking for VR before, such as the ability to implement foveated rendering for improved performance, the ability to navigate menus with a glance of your eye, or the potential for life-like interactions with in-game NPCs and avatars. However, Tobii Pro’s VR Analytics tools highlight other uses for eye-tracking in VR that could benefit product designers, architects, and retail merchandisers, such as studying what grabs people’s attention about a product or environment layout.

“Eye tracking has proved to be a natural part of VR, and the launch of Tobii Pro VR Analytics is a major step towards our larger vision to also provide businesses and researchers with the tools to capture insights from these immersive environments. VR puts you in complete control of an environment while eye tracking explains our behavior while in that world – a powerful combination making the behavioral insights accessible to many more people,” said Tobii Pro president Tom Englund in a press release.

Tobii Pro’s VR Analytics tools can also help study how people react to tense situations in training simulations high-risk occupations in industries such as emergency response, the medical and surgical profession, and industrial manufacturing.

The Tobii Pro VR Analytics tools can integrate with existing Unity environments, which allows businesses to use existing software and simulation environment for their analysis. Tobii said the suite includes automated features for visualizing and measuring what user’s view, including a heat map that shows the areas that draw the most attention, opacity maps that highlight the most frequently viewed locations, and journey maps that track a user’s movement in the virtual environment.

The Tobii Pro VR Analytics software is available now, but Tobii didn’t publicly reveal the price for the tool. Interested companies should contact Tobii’s sales team. For more information about the VR Analytics tool, see the Tobii Pro website.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.