Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Google Could Give a Glimpse of Standalone VR Device at I/O 2017

At Google I/O today, the company announced it's expanding its Daydream VR program from the existing phone holster to a new platform based on standalone headsets, complete with positional tracking.

The tech giant said it's working with Lenovo and HTC to build a new breed of VR headsets, created to work without a phone or separate computer. Google announced the new VR headset during its annual Google I/O conference for developers in Mountain View, Calif.

Microsoft has touted inside-out tracking in its HoloLens and other third-party Windows VR headsets as a key differentiator from the competition. They use inside-out tracking with Google's WorldSense technology, which means that users won't need external cameras. Following's Google brief announcement of the device, the Taiwanese tech giant shed some more details about its product that should be unveiled shortly.

HTC with its Vive headsets is of course an obvious choice as an OEM partner. Samsung's decision to make its technology compatible with Google's is noteworthy considering Samsung sells a competing mobile VR headset, the Gear VR, which requires Samsung smartphones to operate. "We're thrilled that headsets will begin to hit shelves later this year".

Google said the standalone Daydream HMD should offer a better experience compared to smartphone-derived VR hardware. This lets Google and hardware makers customize the displays, optics, and sensors to be ideal for virtual reality, he said.

The standalone headsets, as you'd expect, don't require any cables, phones, or a PC to work. You just put the thing on and start using it.

Google also showcased its Expeditions AR program as part of its educational outreach efforts.

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