Google is developing a standalone augmented reality headset powered by Qualcomm's Internet of Things chip QSC603, German tech outlet WinFuture reports, citing internal company documents. The device in question is said to be code-named "Google A65" and meant to work entirely untethered, with Alphabet's subsidiary targeting Bluetooth 5.1 support, as well as gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. Cellular connectivity won't be part of the package which is presently being prototyped in collaboration with Quanta Computer, one of the manufacturers behind the 2015 Pixel C tablet. The Google A65 is said to be "not unlike" Microsoft's HoloLens headgear, with its chip of choice pointing to raw processing capabilities that are on par with Snapdragon 600-series modules, i.e. those meant to compete in the upper mid-range segment of the smartphone market.
The Qualcomm-made silicon also boasts artificial intelligence capabilities, whereas machine learning and related technologies have been a core part of Google's vision for several years now. The standalone AR headset will reportedly offer voice recognition support, though it's still unclear whether it will run an Android-based operating system like the company's Daydream lineup. Google has been touting AR as the next big thing in consumer electronics, having attempted fully embracing such technologies in the smartphone space with ARCore, a unified platform meant to standardize mobile AR content.
Qualcomm is presently developing the Snapdragon Wear 3100 that's said to be offering eye tracking support and will target smart glasses and similar wearables instead of just smartwatches its predecessor powered, though the silicon may not be more powerful than the QSC603, which is why Google might have opted for the IoT chip instead, providing the latest report on the matter is accurate. Rumors of Google working on an AR headset have been circulating the industry since 2016 when the tech juggernaut was said to have been collaborating with Intel-owned Movidius on prototyping such a device but never before have its experimental AR devices been reported about in such an in-depth manner. The company's next hardware event is expected to take place in early October when Google is likely to continue its consumer electronics push and announce the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Android flagships, as well as three Pixel-branded smartwatch models, as per recent reports.