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Google I/O 2017: Standalone VR headsets is what we needed; WorldSense technology from HTC, Lenovo coming soon

Google’s new platform will help usher in new age of standalone virtual reality devices.

google standalone vr

Technology companies want to tap the space of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. In the last couple of years, we have seen more and more consumer devices coming in that make these two technologies, apparently the next big things in tech, more accessible to people. Going forward we are most likely to see more and affordable AR/VR-based devices. One of the reasons why the VR devices haven’t really become a mainstream is reliance on the secondary device to function, be it a PC or a smartphone. A big push to VR is expected to come from standalone devices. And finally, Google has made a stride towards achieving this.

At its Google I/O 2017, the company unveiled a standalone VR headset reference design. It is based on a ‘WorldSense’ technology. Using reference design from Qualcomm, the platform enables OEMs to build standalone VR headsets. In simpler words, these WorldSense-based headsets won’t be dependent on smartphones or PC. At the moment, Google has tied up with Lenovo and HTC for standalone VR devices, which are expected to be released “in coming months.”

Like the case with DayDream last year, Google just showcased an outline of what the devices could be like. Based on the demo video, the devices will be able to understand your head motions. The video shows a school girl practicing dodge ball using the VR, only to excel in the real-life practice. Obviously, the potential is huge for such standalone devices. According to Google, the headset comes with a 6-degrees-of-freedom that allows users to move more freely as compared to the traditional VR devices such as Cardboard that show the surrounding from a fixed point. ALSO READ: Google I/O 2017: Google Photos just became intelligent, introduces physical photo albums

With Google already laying out a clear plan for the technology and having two prominent brands HTC and Lenovo on board, the platform is likely to get a huge support from developers community as well. A catalog comprised of a wide variety of apps is certainly going to play a pivotal role.

That being said, after Google unveiled the Cardboard platform, we saw a flurry of affordable Virtual Reality headsets hitting the market. Even though very basic in nature and user experience, the platform allowed a lot of users get an idea of the virtual reality. Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive have been quite popular. But all of these devices need a secondary device to work. ALSO READ: Google I/O 2017 Live: Android O announced, here’s all you need to know

With Google’s new platform, things are likely to change at a rapid pace. In the past, Facebook-owned Oculus and Intel have demonstrated their prototypes of standalone headsets with built-in tracking sensors. Microsoft is also working on launching consumer-end version of its Mixed Reality-headsets. Samsung has also confirmed that is developing standalone Virtual Reality devices. ALSO READ: Samsung developing a standalone VR headset that won’t need to be connected to a smartphone 

  • Published Date: May 18, 2017 9:44 AM IST