Google, HTC, Lenovo partner to create a standalone VR headset platform

Posted May 20, 2017

As had been rumored, at Google I/O's keynote address today the company announced a major step forward in their offering in the virtual reality headset market with the upcoming release of a standalone VR headset.

Vive, which is already one of the leading consumer VR systems available, has confirmed it will be "one of the first" to build a standalone headset.

The newly announced Daydream headset is the biggest expansion for the VR platform which, until now, required a smartphone to take the VR experience on to users.

The standalone VR headsets will be based on Qualcomm's 835 VR platform and use WorldSense, a new technology that understands movement in space without the need to set up any external sensors. We don't even know if the standalone headset will have any connection with Android or Google's Daydream app ecosystem at all.

This is Daydream 2.0, a.k.a. "Euphrates", and the second iteration of Google's VR platform has got some new stuff to wow its users.

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It added that Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will be Daydream-ready following a software update this summer. "Everything that you need for VR is contained in the headset itself".

Sadly, neither Google nor its partners were willing to share details on pricing and formal availability beyond a rough commitment to launching commercial headsets before the end of the year.

Tango is also one of the core technologies behind the company's new Visual Positioning Service (VPS), which helps devices understand their location indoors. While GPS is great for getting you to the storefront, with VPS your device can direct you right to the item you're looking for once inside.

The announcement was made at Google I/O 2017 during the virtual and augmented reality session. So, for example, if you are playing a game in virtual reality, the other person in the room will be able to see what you're seeing.

Google Home users are going to see some new features, including hands-free calling, and the ability to control select appliances.