Google announces untethered, fully tracked, standalone VR headsets

Randall Craig
May 20, 2017

Numerous companies have come up with VR headsets like MI VR Play, Sony and HTC. This feature has been lacking in smartphone-based models for quite some time and now, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have clear competition in their hands. This is still a good step though to see that Google has actual manufacturers already working on products that will use the new WorldSense platform and that will be built to Google's specs for a standalone VR headset. They will be capable of tracking virtual space with the help of "WorldSense", using technology from Google's Tango augmented reality platform.

Instead of manufacturing the devices themselves, Google partnered with Qualcomm to create a standalone headset reference design, which serves as a blueprint for other brands.

Google is moving ahead with new options for virtual reality, announcing at its I/O developers conference plans for standalone VR headsets and more handsets supporting its Daydream software.

"The whole device is designed just for VR", Clay Bavor, Google's head of VR, was quoted by the FT as saying.

Compatibility has been the biggest barrier to Daydream's appeal so far, and Google look to be making a major effort to address that here.


Most current VR systems rely on a wired connection to a computer or a smartphone to be placed into the headset acting as the screen in order to function.

Daydream was announced at last year's Google I/O event, with only a handful of devices since that have been built ready to use it, including the likes of Google's own Pixel devices, and ASUS' ZenFone AR.

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

Google's Daydream View VR headset was unveiled in October 2016. More details should arrive soon but for now, that's all we have. Google is also working on something called "Picture-in-Picture" mode which lets you watch a video or any other content from a particular app in a pop-up window while simultaneously navigating around other apps on your device.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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