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Google might reveal a new standalone VR headset at I/O 2017

The device is tipped to feature an inventive positional tracking system and wouldn't require a smartphone to operate.

Published onMay 17, 2017

This article first appeared on our sister site, VR Source.

Google unveiled the Daydream View at its I/O 2016 conference, a smartphone powered VR product to push its Daydream platform. At this year’s event, the company is rumored to take things a step further with another VR headset — and this time, it may not require a smartphone to operate.

Variety, citing multiple sources, claims that Google could unveil a standalone mobile VR device in the next few days during I/O 2017. However, Variety’s sources also warned that we may only get a glimpse of the new product, or that the unveiling might be postponed entirely to allow Google to put the spotlight on the current Daydream VR platform instead.

While Variety said it’s unclear as to whether the device would make use of Android or not, it did mention some details about possible hardware capabilities.

Update: Google officially announces Assistant for iOS devices

Apparently, the device may make use of an “inside-out” positional tracking system which would allow the headset to interpret a person’s movements without the need for external tracking systems (such as the HTCVive’s light towers). The VR headset’s native sensors would be able to identify when you’d taken a step or changed position — which would simplify the typical VR setup and potentially reduce costs.

It sounds like it could be something of a game-changer, so here’s hoping the speculation is well-founded.

What are your thoughts on the prospect of a new standalone VR product from Google? Let us know in the comments.

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