Google is developing a recovery software for standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets, according to a commit that was recently uncovered in the database of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The commit in question was originally submitted in June to the main recovery branch of Google's repository, suggesting that the software in question shouldn't be too different to the regular Android recovery tool, save for boasting controls that are specifically designed for a VR platform. A compatible VR device can be booted into the recovery mode by being connected to a computer and prompted to do so with an "adb reboot recovery" command from the Linux Terminal or a Windows Command Prompt, the commit reveals.
The newly uncovered tool is presumably being developed for the Daydream VR platform that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant is currently in the process of expanding to standalone head-mounted displays (HDMs). The latest iteration of the Google I/O developer conference saw the company officially announce this particular ecosystem expansion, noting how the first standalone VR headsets powered by Daydream will be commercially available by the end of the year. Both Google and third-party original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Lenovo and HTC are currently developing such offerings, and all of them will likely support Google's VR recovery mode. The software itself is seemingly based on the Android recovery tool seeing how standalone Daydream headsets are also understood to be running a modified version of Google's ubiquitous operating system.
As no standalone HDMs powered by the Daydream platform have yet been released, the recovery itself still cannot be tested by users. The existence of this solution carries a wide variety of implications for modding Daydream headsets, as it could allow for flashing of custom recoveries like TWRP onto such devices. In theory, this could provide users with the option of installing custom ROMs on their Daydream-powered VR headsets, provided that the independent developer community decides to support them. The Alphabet-owned company has yet to detail its efforts to develop a VR recovery tool for the platform, though more details on the matter may follow by the time first standalone Daydream HDMs are commercialized.