HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Headset has sensors that measure emotions and heart rate

HP will release the Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition next year. That is a VR headset with cameras and sensors that measure facial expressions and the heart rate of the user. Developers can use that to create better VR experiences, according to HP.

The Omnicept Edition is based on the existing HP Reverb G2, which was developed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft and features two LCDs of 2160×2160 pixels per eye. The new model has sensors and four cameras on the inside. They measure the heart rate, look at facial expressions and record eye movements. The glasses also analyze the user’s pupil size.

HP also presents an Omnicept development platform for VR experiences using the data from the additional sensors. Developers who want to use this commercially must hand over 2 percent of the revenue. The platform works on Windows and with SteamVR.

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According to HP, the Omnicept software works with machine learning to analyze the data in real time. HP states that this can be used for business applications. For example, the cognitive load during a specific activity could be measured.

The additional sensor data could also be useful for VR games and experiences. Advanced eye tracking enables foveated rendering, where only the portion of the screen the user focuses on needs to be rendered in high quality. HP will release the glasses next year for an as yet unknown price.