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New dedicated Google VR headset won’t need a smartphone, report says

by Jacob Kleinman | July 18, 2016July 18, 2016 9:00 am PDT

Google is set to launch its VR platform Daydream later this year, but the company may already be looking ahead to the next big thing. A new report reveals the search giant is also developing a standalone headset that mixes virtual and augmented reality. The device apparently features a built-in display and doesn’t require a smartphone or computer to power it.

Google has been assigning employees to work on the secret project for the last few months, according to Engadget and an anonymous inside source. The news follows a recent report from Recode claiming Google had scrapped plans for a high-end headset to challenge the Oculus Rift. It’s possible the company could be working on multiple products, but at least one model is still in development.

Engadget also notes that the rumored headset won’t use Daydream. Google unveiled its new VR software earlier this year; it’s set to run on the next generation of high-end Android phones. Daydream is still important to the company, but it may just be one part of a bigger plan to release new hardware.

According to earlier reports the headset will sport a front-facing camera and motion trackers, which makes sense if the company wants to overlay digital images on top of the real world for an augmented reality experience.

There’s no set release date for the standalone headset and it could be a while before Google even confirms its existence.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...