All-in-one Google VR headset in the works?

Google CardboardGoogle’s virtual reality ambitions are growing larger. Following rumours that it was working on a new version of its very successful Google Cardboard VR headset, a new report by The Wall Street Journal suggests that it is also working on an “all-in-one virtual-reality headset” that would require neither a smartphone, computer or game console to operate.

The report adds that this stand-alone Google VR headset would include the necessary display, processors and outward-facing cameras. Startup Movidius Inc., which already provides chipsets for Google’s Project Tango, may already have been tapped to provide the chipsets to track the user’s head motion. Such an integrated design would not only eliminate the dependency on another device to provide the necessary processing power but would also be an industry first.

While Google’s new Cardboard viewer is likely to be unveiled in May at Google I/O 2016, it’s not clear when this all-in-one Google VR headset could launch. It could happen as early as later this year but development is reportedly still in the early stages. If so, it’s possible it might only launch next year or even be cancelled if Google is not happy with the final product.

Svelte is not a word used to describe the current crop of VR headsets. Adding more processors and other necessary components such as a battery could make the headset heavier and more cumbersome. It remains to be seen how Google will solve this challenge.

Google’s growing interest in virtual reality comes as it now believes that the technology has moved to a point where it could become a new and profitable business for the company. It recently set up a dedicated VR division run by Clay Bavor, the company’s current vice-president of product management.

Source : The Wall Street Journal