Google is reportedly developing a wireless virtual reality headset. The more advanced form of the company's cardboard viewer will soon not rely on a smartphone, PC or gaming console to make it work – this makes it the first of its kind in the VR field.
The Wall Street Journal, citing its unnamed sources familiar with this matter, says that the company is currently working on an all-in-one VR headset which could likely come out before the year ends.
The report says that this Google's standalone VR headset is aimed for "a middle ground," as it will soon offer quality experience but will not be connected to a pricey computer or gaming console.
Specs-wise, this wearable device will come fitted with a screen, outward-facing cameras plus high-powered processors under its hood which will be supplied by an independent company named Movidius Inc. The chips will purportedly use the feeds from the cameras to track the motion of the wearer's head. As a point of comparison, headsets from Oculus Rift currently tap the computing power of connected PCs and make use of external cameras in tracking the users' motion.
Price And Release Date
The report, though, does not go into the details as to how much this wearable device will cost and when is its actual release date.
WSJ notes the release of this device is still not clear, as one of its sources said it is pegged to be unwrapped within the year while one more source claims that this next iteration of Google's VR headset is still in its early stages of development.
Plastic Cardboard Headseat
Apart from this standalone headset the company is reportedly working on, it is also believed that Google could launch its new smartphone viewer – probably the alleged plastic Cardboard headset which is purportedly in the works. This viewer could be unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference in May.
Moreover, the sources said Google is likewise on the process of retooling a new version of the Android mobile operating system to make certain that this new viewer works well with a lot of Android smartphones and to ensure that these phones will handle VR devices.
Earlier this month, we reported that with this new non-cardboard VR headset, Google will use enhanced lenses and sensors along with a new plastic casing rather than a heavy-duty paper.
What's more, rumor has it that this device will be comparable with the Samsung Gear VR as it could accommodate an Android smartphone to enable a VR experience. However, this upcoming Google headset is going to work with more Android phones, when compared with Samsung's headset, in a bid to provide VR to more people across the globe.
In the meantime, last month, the unit of the Alphabet Inc. named its first VR chief, Clay Bavor.
“Since the beginning we’ve been about making VR available for everyone,” said Bavor in a recently held conference. “We’ll have some more to share later in the year.”
At the moment, Google has already sold out more than 5 million Cardboard headsets. On top of that Google Play Store has now recorded 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 Cardboard app installs.