Google has been experimenting with virtual reality for a while now with its Cardboard headset and VR theatre mode for the YouTube mobile app. However, rumour has it that the company is looking to take a bigger step into the market with an Android VR headset, to take on Samsung and its Oculus-built GearVR headset.
This is something we have heard about before but the rumour resurfaced this week just ahead of Google’s I/O conference. This time, the information is coming from journalist Peter Rojas of BetaWorks, who claims to have sources in the know at Google.
According to a series of tweets, Android VR will “definitely” be announced next week, but will be less powerful than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, indicating that Google is aiming for a low price point. The headset will be a ‘standalone’ device and as such, will not plug into a PC.
That means Google’s headset could either be an all in one system with its own hardware on-board to run certain apps, or it could take a similar approach to the Samsung Gear VR and require a smartphone to slot into it. That part wasn’t made entirely clear. It is important to note that Rojas did admit that it is possible Google has changed its plans but he trusts his sources as people who would know that information.
KitGuru Says: Google taking a bigger step into the virtual reality market would be interesting indeed and from the sounds of it, the company could be taking a different approach to other companies so far. Would any of you like to see Google take on VR? Would you pick up a Google VR headset to play around with if it was cheap enough?