Nvidia Announces Partnership with HTC at CES 2019

2019’s Consumer Electronics Show is upon us, and Nvidia kicked things off with announcements about gaming technologies. They covered a wide range of topics in their Keynote, including a new partnership with HTC. Together, HTC and Nvidia plan to push VR forward using Turing architecture.

Multi-Res Rendering & Eye Tracking

Nvidia sees an opportunity to make VR easier for your PC to handle. Right now when you play a game in VR, the game image is rendered at full resolution for each eye. This means that even the portions of the game that your eye isn’t focused on are consuming large amounts of computational power.

Think about it this way. In real life when you’re staring at something, everything in your peripheral vision is slightly blurred. It’s your eye’s way of focusing your attention. When you’re using a VR headset, your eye is still blurring things that are in your peripheral vision. So why are we wasting CPU and GPU power on rendering at high quality in these peripheral areas? That’s exactly the question that Nvidia is asking and answering.

“Variable-Resolution Rendering allows us to reduce the resolution rate on the outside peripheral vision and focus all of that computation to the center. So we can either improve resolution, improve the computation and detail, or reduce the load and therefore increase the performance.”

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at CES 2019

Nvidia believes that they can greatly reduce the power requirements of your computer by lowering the quality of the game image outside of the zone that you’re focused on. Alternatively, if your computer is extra-heavy-duty, you can raise the resolution of the zone that you’re looking at for greater fidelity.

Partnering with HTC

Nvidia is partnering with HTC to introduce Turing-powered VR technologies to the masses. And that’s about all that we currently know about this partnership.

“We’re announcing that we’re partnering with HTC to take advantage of some of the technology that we’ve created for Turing for VR… they have a special press release tomorrow (01/07/19) so be sure to tune into that”

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at CES 2019

This partnership is very interesting. We already know that HTC’s Vive and Vive Pro headsets do not in any way support eye tracking. Nvidia thoughtfully sandwiched details about their HTC partnership between details about their upcoming Multi-Res Rendering technology. It suggests that HTC may be introducing a headset that supports this sort of thing. We’ll have to wait and see when HTC makes their own announcements on January 7th at 4:00 PM EST.

EDIT: And it looks like we were right! HTC Announced the Vive Pro Eye with eye tracking support. Read all about it here.

Also published on Medium.

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