Google develops standalone VR headsets

Francis Harris
May 20, 2017

During I/O 2017, Google unveiled the first major update for their Daydream VR platform originally introduced past year. However, yesterday at the annual Google I/O 2017 developer conference, Google unveiled an upcoming "revolutionary" standalone VR headset that aims to change that. Google introduced the new VR device at Google I/O, which had been rumored, saying HTC and Lenovo, which Google worked with on Tango, will be the first two manufacturers showing the new tech.

"Everything you need for the best portable VR is built right into the headset", a post on the Vive blog explains.

These standalone headsets will use inside-out positional tracking to allow users to move through virtual spaces that correspond with the real world, something that Google calls WorldSense. "It works by using a handful of sensors on the device that are looking out into your surroundings, and that means it works everywhere, there's no set-up and no cameras to install", said Bavor. The standalone VR will come with everything built in and will not require a smartphone or a computer to power the same. In contrast to current generation devices like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the headset will contain all the necessary machinery to operate without external assistance. The details are very thin, basically just describing everything Google covered in the announcement.

One of the key innovations of the standalone headset is a feature Google is calling WorldSense. The latter caught Google's liking and now in standalone Daydream VR headsets, these Qualcomm processors have been integrated with Google's tracking technology. This new standardised Daydream VR headset will be made available some time in the second half of this year.

"We've got to remove more of the friction in using these devices".

According to Bavor, the unnamed Daydream headset has been developed in partnership with Qualcomm and is potentially based on the company's previously announced Snapdragon-powered design.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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