Netflix for Vive - Interview with Rikard Steiber

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We sit down with Rikard Steiber to discuss how Viveport will revolutionize VR gaming.

This year’s CES tradeshow proved to be an exciting event, as usual. Every year, we get to see what different companies have in store for our technological future. At most tech events these days, there’s a good chance you’ll discover some new and exciting developments in the world of virtual reality, and that’s just what we got from Viveport, the makers behind the HTC Vive’s virtual app store.

Viveport hopes to introduce some interesting features to virtual reality that will make the VR landscape more accessible to newcomers and offer more efficient ways to discover and play games in VR. At CES 2019, Viveport showed off several new iterations of the VIVE Pro headset, as well as a new VR platform called Viveport Infinity.

According to the President of Viveport, Rikard Steiber, Viveport Infinity is the “Netflix of VR.” Starting April 5th, you can become a member of Viveport Infinity, which will allow you to have access to hundreds of VR titles for a small monthly fee. Steiber believes this will be a “game changer” for virtual reality, as it will add a new level of discoverability for VR games. Rather than having to take the plunge to purchase a VR game before testing it out, Viveport Infinity members will have access to hundreds of VR titles to choose from on demand.

Viveport also showed off what looks to be on the verge of making VR gaming more accessible. Viveport combines VR with eye-tracking technology in their new VIVE Pro Eye device, which reconfigures the way users interact with the UI in virtual reality. Instead of having to manually point and click at UI elements in VR, the VIVE Pro Eye uses eye tracking as a primary control method, allowing for in-game interactions and movements at the blink of an eye, quite literally. 

This innovative use of eye tracking will have a wide range of applications for different types of games and platforms in VR. When talking with friends and strangers in VIVE Sync, for example, the eye-tracking technology will allow users to make eye contact with others in VR, which is important for an app focused around face-to-face interactions. Eye tracking is particularly suitable for games like MLB: Home Run Derby VR, BMW Virtual Experience, or F-16 Training Simulator, where the direction of where you look plays a huge role in your gaming experience.

Alongside the VIVE Pro Eye, Viveport also showcased several other new iterations of the VIVE Pro headset, including the VIVE Focus, which is a standalone VR headset that doesn’t need to connect to a PC or mobile device, as well as the VIVE Cosmos, which eliminates the need for external base stations outside the headset thanks to its inside-out tracking. 

The VIVE Pro Eye is scheduled to release sometime in Q2 2019. VR owners who want to join Viveport Infinity can do so starting April 5, 2019. Release dates have yet to be announced for the VIVE Cosmos, but more details will be revealed in the coming months.