What's the small sensor/camera between the lenses on the Vive Pro for?

Bighouse
Builder

What's the small sensor/camera between the lenses on the Vive Pro for?

Is that a sensor/camera for eye-tracking for use in foveated rendering?

Vive Staff

Re: What's the small sensor/camera between the lenses on the Vive Pro for?

@Bighouse, It's an IR based proximity sensor. It is used to detect if there is a person wearing the HMD. By default, this is used in combination with SteamVR/OpenVR to pause the headset from rendering a fully composited scene if there is nobody inside of the HMD to experience it - this prevents unnecessary CPU/GPU usage and shuts off the display to prevent any sort of "burn in" style damage. 

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Bighouse
Builder

Re: What's the small sensor/camera between the lenses on the Vive Pro for?

Ah, smart! Speaking of "burn-in", I noticed yesterday when playing the astonomy app "Overview" that at times when I was looking at a mostly dark scene (starfield in galaxy) I could see a strange pattern appear that was part of the HMD. It was like a very faint "dirty" screen door pattern, slightly shifted in the red spectrum- but wasn't a grid. It was like a "dirty grid" where portion of the screen was filled in, some was transparent- and it had a mostly "vertical" grain to it, if that make sense. It spoiled the illusion of floating freely in space.

What is the cuase of this visual oddity? Because it moved and tracked WITH the HMD, it wasn't part of the video signal, but seemed to be connectd to the displays themselves, or the lenses.