Google, Lenovo and HTC are making virtual reality headsets

This is the first standalone headset to use Google's Daydream platform, which the search giant announced would be available for phone/PC-free devices during its Google IO event.

Daydream was unveiled previous year 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. In addition, you also won't need to install external tracking devices around the room.

Microsoft has touted inside-out tracking in its HoloLens and other third-party Windows VR headsets as a key differentiator from the competition. Rotational and positional tracking together are also often called "6 Degrees of Freedom" or "6DOF". Qualcomm is one of the partners that will aid Google in making this a reality, and we've known of Qualcomm's involvement with standalone VR headsets for a while now (in fact, some of us at XDA have demoed Qualcomm-powered headsets). Google placed stringent rules in place so that only phones with super-dense displays and powerful processors would work with Daydream - shutting everyone out of the game, basically. These standalone VR headsets will begin coming to market later in 2017. DayDream now faces extremely limited support, with most people only capable of experiencing it on their Pixel devices.

Vive reports, "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".

Following the launch of the Google Daydream View VR headset, rumours emerged that Google was planning a standalone VR headset that wouldn't require a smartphone, PC, or console to operate; it would carry its own processing power and software capable of running VR applications.

The new headset will be releasing from HTC "later this year".

As for Google I/O 2017, some of the announcements to be made at the keynote could include updates for Google Assistant, more details about the upcoming Android O (Orea?), and new feature and updates for the messaging apps Allo, Duo, and Hangouts. You just put the thing on and start using it.

Finally, Google showed off a new AR capability for Expeditions, its geographic app for schools.



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