Google has shipped more than 5 million Google Cardboard VR viewers since first unveiling it at Google I/O 2014. The virtual reality market has gotten more crowded since then. While Cardboard provides a decent introduction to VR, anyone hooked will soon be looking for a more capable and comfortable headset. Alternatives already include the recently unveiled US$99 consumer version of Samsung Gear VR. Not to be left behind, Google is now working on a Cardboard successor to compete against Samsung’s offering which only works with a handful of Samsung models.
The Financial Times reports that the new model will feature improved sensors and lenses. It will also do away with the cardboard case in favour or a more solid plastic one. Unlike the Samsung Gear VR, Google’s new VR headset is expected to be compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones.
Google is also looking to improve the mobile VR viewing experience by incorporating the necessary software directly into Android. This should eliminate or at least reduce the lag between head movements and the image display caused by relying on the virtual reality apps instead of the operating system. This lag has been known to make users dizzy or nauseous, limiting their use of the headset.
While Google did not comment on the report, Sundar Pichai, now the company’s CEO, only last week promised that Google Cardboard was “just the first step” in its VR efforts, adding that we would see a lot from them “and their partners” this year. The company is also setting up a dedicated VR division run by Clay Bavor, the company’s current vice-president of product management.
With Google I/O 2016 set for May 18th to May 20th, it may well be that we’ll see Google unveil its new headset (Google Plastic?) in the not-so-distant future.
Source : The Financial Times