Someone gave their Quest 1 eye- and face-tracking
It might sound incredible, but someone managed to give their old Oculus Quest 1 eye- and face-tracking.
Those advanced capabilities normally come at a high cost since those are headline features of Meta’s new Quest Pro, which is priced at $1,500. In a reply to a Brad Lynch tweet about a modified Quest 2, Matthew Wheatly, aka ChaoticPsion, shared what he described as a Franken Quest. With a 3D-printed mount, a Vive face tracker was attached to the Quest 1 faceplate (see featured image).
Old VR headset with new features
The more complicated portion of this impressive modification adds eye-tracking, as shown in this earlier tweet from November 2022. Wheatly said both eye- and face-tracking are transmitted wirelessly, but no details were given.
You’d have to feel very comfortable with your modding skills to attempt this project. A good understanding of electronics would also be needed. Attached to the bottom of the Quest 1, an ESP32-CAM module is visible on a circuit board that controls the eye-tracking cameras mounted inside the headset.
For ambitious do-it-yourselfers
Wheatly shared a couple of links in case you’re motivated enough to explore adding such complicated modifications to your own Quest.
Both are Discord channels with names that make their purpose clear. VRCFace Tracking is a place to get help with mounting and setting up Vive’s face-tracker with a variety of headsets. EyeTrack VR is a group for an open source DIY eye tracker for VR Chat through an OSC interface that’s compatible with multiple headsets.
Thank you, only got the quest 2 recently, working on having eye and face tracking, all wirelessly ^w^ I truly have Franken Quests pic.twitter.com/Dc0N6CbPnW
— ChaoticPsion (@MathewWheatly) January 18, 2023
While it’s much easier to buy an expensive headset like the Quest Pro that already includes eye- and face-tracking, or add face-tracking to a compatible headset, you can save hundreds of dollars and learn new skills if you have the time, patience, and equipment necessary to build your own.
It’s worth noting that modifications like this won’t work with apps found in the Meta app store. PCVR is needed and even then compatibility beyond VRChat is uncertain. It would be wise to research this well before going too far down the rabbit hole with a modification that you can’t use regularly.