Rumor: Google To Release Stand-Alone Virtual Reality Headset

Virtual reality seems to be continuing its dominance in the news and one of those headlines which keeps surfacing is Google's increased involvement, interest and intention towards the platform. While they were one of the first companies to release any sort of product in the form of Cardboard, consistent reports have been coming through that Google is about to get much more serious with virtual reality. The most recent of reports came through last week detailing that Google is likely to release a new VR headset in 2016. There has also been reports coming through about a possible Project Tango and Cardboard collaboration which might arrive in the form of Cardboard++.

Following which, the latest news is coming from the Wall Street Journal and adds a bit more flavor to the already emerging rumors. According to the report and "people familiar with the matter", Google will be releasing two specific virtual reality products. One of which will be an updated version of Cardboard. There are no details provided as to whether this will be the Cardboard++ which has been rumored, but a new version will come nonetheless. More interestingly, the report details that the other virtual reality product Google is planning to release is a stand-alone virtual reality unit. That is, a unit which will not require to be connected to a computer, games console or even a mobile smartphone to function. This is because the headset will come equipped with its own display, as well as "high-powered processors and outward-facing cameras". According to the details, the chips in use on the new model will be Movidius chips. This is of particular interest as Google and Movidius have previously worked together on Project Tango and also recently confirmed that they are now working on devices capable of deep learning. Which seems to fit in nicely with the idea of a standalone virtual reality product.

Unfortunately, the arrival details of the stand-alone option are quite vague. Some of the sources do seem to be suggesting that it will arrive later this year, although, there was also the hesitation mentioned that Google might decide to delay the launch until early next year while the concept is developed more. In contrast, the new version of Cardboard is likely to be one unveiled in May at the next Google I/O event, according to the sources.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]