Just ahead of Google’s I/O developer conference last year rumors ran rampant that the company would show a standalone VR headset. The truth was actually something very different, but those murmurs have returned again just ahead of this year’s show.
Variety is citing multiple sources with knowledge of the project in saying that Google may showcase its standalone device at this week’s show, which kicks off today and runs through to Friday. The headset is expected to use an inside-out tracking system similar to that which can be seen in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 headsets, which are made with partners. Those systems are still tethered to PCs, though, and this device is expected to be completely standalone, with all the processing power on-board.
We have a lot of questions about this rumored device, perhaps the most pressing being what it means for the company’s Daydream mobile VR ecosystem, which it revealed at last year’s I/O and launched last November. It’s entirely possible that such a device would support the company’s new ecosystem, meaning it could launch with a suite of games and apps already availble, but it raises questions about where Daydream’s 3 degrees of freedom (3DOF) controller fits into the plan. A 6DOF headset wouldn’t mash well with a 3DOF controller.