HTC Vive’s new ad service knows when you’re looking at ads

How would you feel about advertisers knowing when you’ve looked at their ads in a virtual reality (VR) environment?

HTC announced last week that its virtual reality headset HTC Vive can fully track the viewability of in-game ads thanks to the VR software being able to tell where the user is looking.

“Ads that appear in immersive VR environments can not only provide more effective impressions, they can also track whether the users have viewed them or have turned away their gaze. Accordingly, the multiplied effect of effective impressions and verified viewings will bring you higher advertising revenue,” HTC said on its website.

Some of the ad formats available will include loading scenes, 2D and 3D in-app placements, and app recommendation banners.

The service is opt-in for software developers, but it offers another revenue stream for those looking to keep the costs of their VR games down, or even offer them for free.

Discussing the power of advertising in virtual reality, the company said: “Ads that are seen by users in an immersive VR environment can not only meet the user’s needs by means of precise re-targeting, but can also be detected if they are viewed effectively by users. Therefore, promotion of your applications would have much more effective impression, which not only arouses the attention of potential users and enhances brand image, but further attracts interested users directly to download your apps in the VR environment.”

As Business Insider explains, viewability is a key concern when it comes to digital ad spending because advertisers want to ensure their ads actually had the possibility of being seen.

However, the jury is out on whether eye-tracking for advertisers will be accepted by users who have spent £750 or more on a VR headset.

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts