Just days after a rumor claimed that Google is prepping an improved Cardboard virtual reality viewer made of plastic, another report has surfaced that says that Google’s working on a beefier VR headset, too.
Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Google is creating a standalone VR headset that doesn’t use a smartphone, computer, or anything else to work. Since it’s a standalone device, Google’s VR headset is expected to include a screen, high-end processors, cameras that face outward, and sensors to track the wearer’s head. The goal of the device is to be a sort of middle ground, offering a better experience than something like Cardboard but not requiring users shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for an expensive computer to power a VR headset.
It’s unknown when Google might introduce this standalone VR headset or how much it might cost when it launches. Once source said that it could debut this year, while another said that the device is still in “early development” and might not be released at all.
Today’s report also backed up the claim that Google is working on an improved Cardboard VR viewer, too. This device could be shown at Google I/O in May, sources say, and it’ll reportedly work with deep VR support that’ll be baked into Android by Google.
Virtual reality is a big right now, with companies like Samsung, Facebook, and HTC all working to introduce devices that’ll wow consumers and get them a big slice of the still young VR market. With all of the interest in VR, it makes sense that Google would experiment with VR devices of its own. It does already have Cardboard, but a standalone VR headset would offer a better experience that’d likely better impress consumers and also work for folks that don’t have an Android phone.