We’re just hours away from the start of this year’s Google I/O conference and the rumor mill is still churning like crazy. The latest insider byte comes from Variety, who cites multiple sources aware of the development, to suggest that Mountain view plans to give developers a sneak peek at its next-generation Daydream VR headset on stage at the developer conference.
Till date, the company has only toyed with mobile VR headsets and has not completely dipped its toes in the extensive VR hardware space. Starting with the affordable Google Cardboard, the Mountain View giant followed this measly (but decent) creation with the Daydream VR headset. It was also a portable device, where you had to pop in a Daydream compatible smartphone to gain access to the burgeoning platform, which was debuted at last year’s I/O devcon.
But, today’s fresh report now suggests that Google is planning to show off a completely standalone VR headgear. It’s a virtual reality headset that doesn’t require either the huge gaming PC or the smartphone to power the experience has been in the works, according to sources aware of the development. There is currently no word on the operating system that’ll power this device but Android can be a definite option.
The report further describes that the headset will be packed with cutting-edge technology, especially inside-out tracking to ease the tracking of a user’s movement in the virtual space. This means Google’s upcoming VR headset is expected to include the camera, sensors, battery and processor into the headset kit itself. The company will also have to modify its existing controllers to make them trackable, compatible with the new headset. It’ll also incorporate sensors to make them trackable by the cameras mounted on the VR headset.
Google is adopting a strategy currently being followed by Microsoft, which has been termed as mixed reality. The wildly popular VR headset makers, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR, all require external camera and sensor to enable tracking.
Since Google only develops the cloud-based Chrome OS, so the Mountain View giant is skipping on the PC-based VR hardware and jumping straight to the standalone experience. It could’ve thought about launching a wired headset that was compatible with one of their rival’s platform but it doesn’t seem to be resorting to such a hardware decision.
This is, however, insider information and should be taken with a grain of salt. There is a possibility that Google might only give us a preview of its ambitions in the said direction, limiting the preview launch only to a handful of developers. It will enable developers to optimize their games and apps for the destined launch of the standalone VR headgear to the public in the near future. The report further mentions that Google may only focus on the advancements and improvements of the Daydream platform if the launch of the headset is canceled.