Today, Google announced its plan to make the next big step in VR headset technology: standalone VR.
As you may know, it’s commonly believed that the next big leap in VR is completely standalone VR headsets, aka headsets that don’t require a PC or phone. Today, during its I/O conference, Google announced it is pursuing this next step, teaming up with HTC Vive and Lenovo to offer new standalone headsets by the end of this year.
According to Google, the headset will offer six degrees of tracking — unlike the far more limited designs of both Cardboard and its mobile VR headset Daydream — thanks to the company’s inside-out positional tracking system called Worldsense. What this means is rather then letting users only look around from a fixed point, there were be six degrees of freedom that enables users to move and look around freely, similar to high-end VR systems.
Vive accompanied the announcement with the following statement:
“We have been working closely with developers and consumers to define the best VR experiences over the past few years, and we are perfectly positioned to deliver the most premium standalone headset and user experience. Vive’s standalone VR headset will provide a deeper and more immersive portable VR experience than ever before.”
Specifics — such as prices, exact launch timing, etc. — have not been divulged, but Google and its partners have said more information will be forthcoming soon.