Google may preview stand alone virtual reality headset at developer conference


At this week's I/O developer conference, Google (GOOG +0.6%, GOOGL +0.6%) will preview its next-gen virtual reality headset, Variety reports.

Unlike Google's current Daydream View headset that requires a phone to work, this will be a standalone device similar to what we've seen with Facebook's Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive. Reports that Google was working on such a headset have been circling since the beginning of 2016, so the company has had over a year to develop it. It could help a user interact properly in a virtual environment by tracking real-world surroundings and using information to simulate movement, which would make the feel of VR content more realistic for the user. The company is expected to revamp the platform and its successor could either be Android-based or it could run on a separate operating system dedicated to VR, according to the report. But Tiltbrush, Google Earth and Job Simulator also have something else in common: They don't work on Google's Daydream headset, and instead have been released on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Another reason for Google to introduce a new high-end VR headset has to do with an ironic story. Tango started out as a project of Google's X lab, but has since become part of the same VR group that has also been developing Daydream.

The technology has been described as cutting-edge and will likely include inside-out positional tracking.

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Another piece of the puzzle in Google's VR quest is its stockpile of great VR apps. There is now no word on the operating system that'll power this device but Android can be a definite option.

Google has not commented on their plans to show a new headset at Google I/O. That means there'll be no external hardware, making setup easier.

The new device would require no phone.