Google intends to develop a new virtual reality headset that is far more advanced than Cardboard, suggested reports that surfaced on Sunday. But a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that the company has even bigger virtual reality plans.
Google has bold VR plans
Google’s new stand-alone VR product will reportedly not need to be tethered to a smartphone or PC to function. Citing sources, The Journal informed readers that the unannounced device will include a screen, high-powered processors and outward-facing cameras.
Google is reportedly designing the product in a manner to provide a “middle ground” experience, so chances are that it won’t be on par with Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive in terms of power but will offer the convenience of un-tethered operation. The release timeframe of the stand-alone device is less certain as one source said it could arrive this year while another cautioned that it continues to remain in early development and could be scrapped entirely.
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Movidius, a startup based in San Mateo, Calif., is reportedly supplying the technology to the Internet firm, making it easier to track the head movements of the user. Despite the bold plans, the Internet firm will be facing a wave of competition from Oculus, Samsung, Sony and HTC. There will be a virtual reality product on store shelves this year from each company.
Bavor to credit for Google’s VR efforts
Google is also rumored to be planning to introduce a Gear VR competitor alongside a new version of Android that will make VR a core part of the operating system. It would be a VR headset in Nexus style and serve as a reference point for other manufacturers as they move ahead to embrace Android’s deeper focus on virtual reality, says a report from the Financial Times. The product is expected to be unveiled later this year at the I/O 2016.
In the past several months, Google has made several significant movements on the consumer side of virtual reality with most devoted to platforms like Cardboard and Project Tango. Project Tango is in the earlier stages, and Lenovo is building some of the first Tango devices, which it will release this summer.
Reports regarding Google’s VR efforts became more rampant after some interesting changes over the past several weeks. Recently, Google’s VP for Product Management, Clay Bavor, left the work he was doing on other products to devote all his time and efforts to manage the company’s virtual reality offerings.