Tech

HP G2 Omnicept: Enterprise-grade VR whose sensors can read “cognitive load”

  • The HP G2 Omnicept Edition looks a lot like the standard HP G2, but it comes with an additional slew of sensors. Visible at the top here is a heartrate tracker, while the eye-related trackers are built around the lenses. HP
  • A clearer look at the facial-tracking camera, built into the portion of the headset beneath the nose. How exactly this will capture an entire face remains to be seen.
  • Otherwise, the HP G2 Omnicept looks nearly identical to the consumer-grade G2.
  • Same array of forward- and side-facing sensor cameras, designed to track the Windows Mixed Reality controllers.
  • Lots of similar design language to the Valve Index, which makes sense, since HP has tapped Valve to supply lenses and hovering speakers to this headset.

We're still waiting to test out HP's next PC-VR headset, the $600 HP G2, but before it begins shipping to preorder customers in November, HP has already unveiled its next VR sales pitch. And it's a biometric-tracking doozy.

The HP G2 Omnicept Edition delivers everything you'll find in the G2, including a pair of high-res, fast-switching LCD panels; an "inside-out" tracking solution; lenses, speakers, and other optimizations borrowed from Valve Index; and HP's updated version of the Windows Mixed Reality controllers.

But this higher-tier version, which has a vague "Spring 2021" launch window and no price yet, is aimed squarely at enterprise customers with a wealth of built-in sensors. These include: eye-tracking and pupillometry sensors, to separately determine your gaze and your moment-to-moment dilation; a heart rate sensor; and a facial-capture camera, to translate how you look to other users. (HP has not yet shown us how that facial-capture system will work, and they've confirmed that some of its features will not be part of the Omnicept's launch SDK.)

De-identify, aggregate, and secure

HP was careful not to attach any of these sensors' potential to consumer-level entertainment options like games or movie-watching. Instead, the company's PR team talked primarily about this headset as a useful solution for training exercises—with a not-so-subtle nudge about how virtualized versions of intense scenarios may prove useful during our continued quarantine era. (Without a firm launch window, however, there's no telling whether we'll see the G2 Omnicept before a working COVID-19 vaccine.)

Before I could pipe up with my timely concerns, HP shoved a slide in my face with three privacy-minded bullet points. First, the HP Omnicept SDK, which gives developers the full suite of APIs needed to capture and translate biometric data, has been developed with GDPR compliance at its core. Second, HP's cloud infrastructure offer to enterprise-grade Omnicept customers promises to "de-identify, aggregate, and secure" all user data that it processes.

Last of all, HP says the headset itself "secures data during capture within a legal framework that adheres to GDPR, and no data is stored on the headset." That still leaves data handling up to individual firms who hand these headsets, and their compatible training apps, to staffers and students—and decide what to do with the wealth of personal information, particularly emotional responses (as tracked by heartrate and pupil sensors), gleaned by any battery of training sequences or tests.

"Privacy was the beginning of the [Omnicept] conversations," consultant and Virtual Human Interaction Read More – Source