Google CE Partners to Debut Standalone VR Headsets in 2017

Google Daydream

At Google I/O today, the company announced it's expanding its Daydream VR program from the existing phone holster to a new platform based on standalone headsets, complete with positional tracking.

While a release date for the device has yet to be announced, HTC and Lenovo are developing headsets using Google's standalone platform. A report by Wall Street Journal previous year claimed that Google was working on such a device, and rumors kept circulating regarding the headset for quite some time. Google said that it is working with Qualcomm to create a hardware reference design for the new generation of untethered headsets. These VR headsets will not need any PC or smartphone to operate.

They also promised that other details will follow "soon" but already hinted that the standalone HTC Vive headset will be "simple, easy-to-use and with no cables to connect".

There's no word on how "World Sense" functions, but the site says that all sensors used to track head movements will be located onboard the device. The device will be based on Qualcomm's latest chipset, the Snapdragon 835 with the Snapdragon 835VR being the heart of the VR headsets now being planned for launch.

One of the big reasons for this is that OLED displays are needed in order to meet Google's display performance requirements for Daydream. With the promise of the upcoming standalone Google VR to be more "friction free", users may be able to use the new VR with a longer time period, Cnet noted.

Google hasn't been the only company to pursue powerful standalone VR systems - Facebook is working on its own, as is Samsung.

Daydream was unveiled a year ago with the Pixel and has expanded out to a handful of other devices like the Moto Z. Google's augmented reality platform Tango has been up until this point available on a limited number of phones - namely, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR.

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