Google allegedly working on stand-alone VR headset

by: John DyeFebruary 11, 2016
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google cardboard io 2015 aa (6 of 9)

Earlier this week, we heard a rumor that Google had a high-grade VR headset in the works to rival Samsung’s Gear VR. The idea seems to be to create a more solid, specced-out version of Google Cardboard made out of non-corrugated materials. While this is certainly an interesting development in its own right, word on the street now is that Google has a project slated to bring a complete VR headset to the market that won’t require a computer, smartphone, or game console. If this is true, this may just be the first time VR has been approached in this way. You know, if we don’t include the Virtual Boy.

This raises some immediate questions. Right now, every VR headset on the market is reliant in some way on an external form of processing power. Nevertheless, the WSJ is saying that Google’s stand-alone headset will feature high powered processors and outward facing cameras (presumably for AR use). Movidius is suspected of being Google’s source for chips and sensor on this endeavor, but the company is dodging any direct questions regarding their involvement.

oculus rift vr e3 2015See also: Oculus Rift is the most popular VR platform among game developers

How would such a device work? How powerful would it be, and how much would it weigh? The biggest question of all might be, how much will we be expected to pay for such a compact, high-tech device?

There’s no rumored timeline on this product’s announcement or release, but since Cardboard’s heir is expected to come to Google I/O in May, odds are good that any firm information to be had about this project will come to light at the same time. While we wait, let us know what you think of this rumored Google foray into the VR big leagues.

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  • John Doe

    That’s it, I am going into the Chiropractic profession!!

  • AndroidDev123

    I think it’s very unlikely that the successor to Google Cardboard, which was intended to bring cheep VR to the masses by leveraging our smartphones, will go the complete opposite direction and be a premium all inclusive headset. I’m sure Google has developed a standalone VR headset for testing purposes, but it’ll either be a completely different project or the lessons learned from it will be used in other projects. I think it’s more likely they’ll produce something on par with Gear VR for more handsets and they’ll expand Google Glass into an full AR offering like Microsoft’s Hololens. I don’t see them releasing a headset with pass-through cameras for VR/AR functionality any time soon, at least not until it can be done much more affordably than it currently can.