Google’s grand plans for VR have just received a major boost in the form of a new report which claims that the tech giant is working on a standalone headset which combines both augmented and virtual reality. This would presumably be unique from its Daydream VR platform and headset which takes a more smartphone-centric approach to the technology.
According to Recode, Google has apparently scrapped plans for a high-end VR headset which would have taken on devices like the Oculus Rift and featured its own unique OS. However, sources told Engadget that the brand is still working on a separate project that blurs the line between virtual and augmented reality.
The concept sounds a bit like Microsoft’s HoloLens which attempts to layer digital effects over the real world. Google itself has invested in a startup called Magic Leap which is looking to work towards the same goal of creating a mixed reality headset. The search giant has supposedly been actively assigning people to work on a high-end headset over the past couple of months.
Insiders claim this device will be independent since it won’t need a computer or smartphone to power it. While the offering will apparently be equipped with a screen, it’ll be furnished with features which are more in the spirit of augmented reality than modern-day game-focused VR headsets.
The Wall Street Journal had previously published a report on Google’s VR plans which could offer more clues as to what to expect. The headset will apparently take advantage of outward-facing cameras and a Movidius chip to track the motion of an individual’s head. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine whether the article was talking about the dead VR headset or the still-alive AR+VR one.
In any case, the new report asserts that Google has no fixed release date in mind for its reality-bending AR and VR headset yet. We’ll keep you updated on any new developments on that front.