Google unveils standalone VR headsets with Daydream

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Daydream VR has so far been an experience that has run on your smartphone, but now it's making the jump into a standalone headset.

The Google-powered standalone VR products will also use positioning inside-out tracking technology Google calls WorldSense. However, today, at the ongoing I/O Google has announced that Samsung Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus will be getting the DayDream feature via a software update.

Revealing the news at its Google I/O developer conference in California yesterday, Google said that HTC VIVE and Lenovo are both working on devices.

Among them, perhaps the most impactful to the gaming industry is the next step in what Google is calling Daydream VR.

Standalone VR headsets are not a new phenomenon, adds the newspaper, as Intel and Oculus have "previously shown off their own prototypes". On-board sensors in the headsets will enable inside-out tracking, which will remove the need to connect to any external hardware.

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With the pursuit to create a greatly improved device, Google was motivated to develop the standalone VR headset. While its main application lies in augmented reality, Google has fused it with their VR tech as well. Google is working on standalone headsets with Lenovo Group Ltd. and HTC Corp., the company said.

The first of these headsets are expected to hit shelves later this year.

It is also clear that the actual hardware may be manufactured by individual companies licensed to use the Daydream platform and with the VR related chipset being supplied through Qualcomm. The pairing with HTC in particular makes a lot of sense given that many have been wondering why HTC hasn't announced plans for a follow-up to its Vive headset. While a release date for Google's system is still forthcoming, clearly we won't have to wait much longer for the virtual world to reach that next level of freedom.

But the paper says Google is the only manufacturer to have a device that will be available for consumers to buy.

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