Later this year, Oculus, HTC and Sony will release the next generation of VR headsets in a bid to bring virtual reality to the masses. But Google might wind up being the market’s Dark Horse in the fight for your virtual life.
With the search giant already entrenched in VR thanks to Cardboard, the company is reportedly building a standalone headset that’s more advanced than initially thought.
Over the weekend, a report hinted Google was hard at work on a product that would be similar to Samsung’s Gear VR, a device that utilizes an existing smartphone and connects with a viewer, basically like a more advanced Cardboard. A new report from The Wall Street Journal, however, claims Google is working on an additional device that will compete with more powerful VR devices, complete with its own screen, high-powered processors and outward-facing cameras.
It’s not expected to be quite as powerful as something like the PlayStation VR, though the WSJ explains it’ll offer an experience beyond the Gear VR, but not so powerful that it needs to be tethered to a PC.
With 360-degree becoming a huge part of YouTube, it makes sense Google would explore technology beyond the capabilities of Cardboard, which is fairly rudimentary. That said, the company’s viewer does make VR incredibly accessible because it’s so affordable, and is (so far) the best shot at taking the technology mainstream.
It’s unclear when Google’s new VR efforts will debut, though I/O 2016 seems like as good a time as any.