Google's been making a big push in the world of virtual reality, building out the Daydream platform and, most recently, introducing the standalone Mirage Solo headset with Lenovo. It's also been playing with AR, building out its ARCore platform on smartphones, and now it sounds like Google is turning its attention to AR hardware.
That's according to WinFuture, which claims the search giant is working on a standalone AR headset not too different from Microsoft HoloLens. The headset is referred to as Google A65, according to documents obtained by WinFuture, and is powered by special new processors built by Qualcomm.
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Taiwanese contract manufacturer Quanta will be creating these headsets, which makes it seem like the documents WinFuture has obtained are possibly manufacturing contracts.
The Qualcomm QSC603 is reportedly the chip Google is using to power its headset. It's a four-core ARM system-on-a-chip, with two of the cores working at 1.6Ghz and two cores working at 1.7Ghz. The Verge says this is the same chip rumored to be used in the second-generation HoloLens, which indicates it may be a go-to for standalone AR headsets.
However, WinFuture reports the chip contains a neural processing engine that's supposed to work in conjunction with the Android Neural Networks API, which tells us Qualcomm is customizing the chips for each partner.
WinFuture makes sure to underline that this standalone AR headset is in the prototyping stage, and decisions on processors were only made earlier this year. That means that several stages of hardware development are yet to happen, which means things could change.
It's likely we don't see an actual standalone Google AR headset for a while, but it seems like one is definitely on the way. While it's possible this is a future successor to Google Glass, it's also likely they live on two different tracks, as Google is also very interested in developing AR smartglasses once the technology is ready.