Google is working with HTC (Vive) and Lenovo on standalone VR headsets, an expansion of its Daydream project, it announced at I/O 2017.
Right now, Google's latest VR device is its Daydream View headset, but that relies on a smartphone to power it. Google has revealed that its Daydream platform is now going to support a second class of VR headset, standalone VR devices that won't require a smartphone or PC to run. And Google will be partnering up with third-party manufacturers to make them.
Read this: The best Daydream apps and games
So far Google's confirmed that it will launch headsets with HTC and Lenovo, teasing us with some sketches - but they're still works in progress. The headsets will use inside-out tracking called 'world sense' meaning total freedom of movement. Google's also working with Qualcomm on a reference design headset, probably a bit like the one we tried earlier this year.
It's great to see HTC on board here, after its successful partnership with Valve on the Vive. Its headset doesn't have a name yet, though the release does say "Vive's headset" not HTC's, and we don't know much else apart from it will be one of the first standalone devices for Daydream.
"Vive's standalone VR headset will provide a deeper and more immersive portable VR experience than ever before," said HTC in a press release. "More information on Vive's standalone VR headset will be made available soon, but rest assured it will be simple, easy-to-use and with no cables to connect. Just pick it up, put it on and be fully immersed in your new reality."
There's not a lot else to go on right now, but Google's virtual reality VP Clay Bavor promised we'll see the new headsets later this year.
As for the Daydream View, Google announced that the headset will be getting more smartphone support this year. So if you don't own, or want to own, a Daydream compatible phone from Google, Moto, Huawei or ZTE you'll still be able to jump into Google's VR headset. First, the recently released Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will get Daydream support this summer which is pretty big news considering Samsung's own Gear VR has sold very well. LG's next flagship smartphone, which will launch later this year, will also have Daydream support.
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