GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that it's working on standalone Daydream virtual reality (VR) headsets, with HTC and Lenovo signed up to build them.
It'll be working with HTC and Lenovo to create the headsets, which will work without the need for any cables, PCs or peripherals. While none of the three companies involved have divulged much at this point, Google did confirm that the tether-free VR headsets will be powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 835 SoC. The Daydream VR platform was first announced at the 2016 Google I/O, and the first headset, Daydream View, was released in November.
Daydream will soon also support a new category of VR devices, which we call standalone VR headsets. All that set-up can be a pain, but this new venture hopes to get you into VR with a press of a button. This limits their appeal to everyday users, failing to track their wearers' location, which is essential for immersive VR games and other 3D experiences.
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One big major win is that the reference design features WorldSense for positional tracking right out of the box without any external equipment unlike most other desktop based VR systems.
The latest Daydream 2.0 Euphrates update includes support for Google Cast. If mobile VR an tackle that problem, of making sure that people can enjoy mobile virtual reality without worrying about being disconnected from their phone, then that only helps the potential of Daydream and similar platforms.
There's a lot to like here, even if the hardware might not come close to being able to produce the same visual fidelity as something like an Oculus Rift of HTC Vive. This comes as Google attempts to make staying in the Daydream VR interface as convenient as possible. It's meant to be an indoor alternative to Global Positioning System and is now being trialled in select Lowe's stores and museums.