Google announced their Daydream virtual reality platform at I/O this year, and even mentioned that they had their own headset and controller in the pipeline. However, it looks like that might not be Google’s end game when it comes to virtual reality.
After reportedly scrapping a high-end headset that would have gone head-to-head with the Oculus Rift, more rumors have surfaced that a totally separate headset is still in development at Google that would fill the hole left behind by the Rift competition while also bringing augmented reality into the mix. That means it would be a headset that didn’t need a smartphone to work, so think of something a little more standalone.
Earlier leaks of a Google AR/VR headset have hinted at motion tracking and outward-facing cameras that would help to build a more unique experience than what’s currently available on virtual reality headsets. A major difference between this rumored Google headset and what’s currently on the market is that Google’s hardware will be more focused on general applications as opposed to the heavy gaming focus of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Even Samsung’s Gear VR is pretty heavily advertised as a gaming accessory, although that does touch on some other entertainment. Also, considering it won’t need a smartphone or computer, it would offer a totally standalone experience that you simply can’t get with other available devices.
With all of that in mind, it’s interesting that Google plans on taking this headset beyond Daydream. Daydream technically hasn’t hit the market yet so things could still change between now and the end of the year, but don’t be surprised if Daydream isn’t Google’s go-to alternate reality platform a few years down the line.