Google to Bring Standalone VR Headsets to Market This Year

Google takes the covers off Daydream 2.0 at I  O 2017
     
     
       By John Hoff

How effective WorldSense will be in building up engagment with VR and AR technology will have to be seen with what type of headsets HTC and Lenovo yield. Google is taking that freedom a step further, working to develop a headset that's not only wireless, but also works anywhere you want to go.

Google has sunk more energy into turning around its low-to-middle tier Daydream VR experience, announcing a slew of partnerships relating to the virtual reality headset.

As no external device, such as a smartphone or computer, is required to power the headsets, the website says that users won't have to worry about tripping over wires and "latency should be non-existent".

There's a lot to like here, even if the hardware might not come close to being able to produce the same visual fidelity as something like an Oculus Rift of HTC Vive. They will be capable of tracking virtual space with the help of "WorldSense", using technology from Google's Tango augmented reality platform.

Google to Bring Standalone VR Headsets to Market This Year
Google to Bring Standalone VR Headsets to Market This Year

"We were an early supporter and contributor to WebVR standards", Google VR boss Clay Bavor wrote in a blog post. Google did not share specs details about these standalone Daydream devices and did not mention a firm release date or price for them. "You feel like you're really there". In any case, it's a big improvement over the existing Daydream holster, which only detects head tilt and not position. It is more focused on movement tracking, dodge, lean, duck and wish. Today's announcement advances the work that Qualcomm and Google had previously collaborated on to enable Daydream on smartphone devices.

It works like the Global Positioning System, but instead of Global Positioning System satellites, the VPS uses a phone camera to look for the different features in a room and matches them with previous data points. Thus, the system works only indoors. So, it can locate the presence of a phone up to a few centimeters.

At its annual Google I/O developer conference, the company announced that it is working on expanding its Daydream virtual reality program to include a standalone headset.

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