Google announces standalone Daydream VR headsets

Google is ramping up its work on virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR respectively) with its Daydream platform, having added support for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and revealed partnerships with Lenovo and HTC to build standalone headsets. Qualcomm is now working on a reference design, with HTC and Lenovo expected to produce the first consumer sets sometime this year.

Among them, perhaps the most impactful to the gaming industry is the next step in what Google is calling Daydream VR.

Among those controls there will be a button that lets you access the new Chromecast support.

VR's great, but it always needs either a really expensive PC or games console, or your own smartphone.

The announcement was made at Google's annual developer conference I/O.




"We asked, how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience", Google VP for VR Clay Bavor said on stage.

For a higher performance for the standalone Daydream VR headset, Google will be working with Qualcomm and use the company's Snapdragon 835 processor. A VR-flavored browser should give its users an option to browse web pages while in a headset and also launch WebVR content.

The standalone Vive will be available "later this year" for an unspecified price. It's a virtual reality platform developed by Google that's built into the Android OS (as of Android 7.1), rather than as an App with Google's first VR platform, Google Cardboard. The latter caught Google's liking and now in standalone Daydream VR headsets, these Qualcomm processors have been integrated with Google's tracking technology.

Google didn't provide many details of what the actual finished product will look like, other than showing a very minimalist sketch. In related news, Google is also coming up with the second iteration of the Tango-enabled phone, the Asus Zenfone AR.

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