Google will apparently step up its virtual reality game and launch a proper VR headset of its own in 2016.
Of course, Google already has a presence in VR thanks to its cheap and cheerful Google Cardboard system. You can essentially form your old virtual reality headset, Blue Peter style, with a bit of cardboard and an Android smartphone.
According to the Financial Times, however, the search giant is looking to take things further. The publication claims that Google is developing a new VR headset to take on the likes of the Samsung Gear VR and the Oculus Rift.
It seems the new headset will be more permanent than the Cardboard set-up, with a plastic body as well as better sensors and lenses. Indeed, it seems as if the new device will be similar the Samsung’s Gear VR, but with a much greater range of supported handsets.
As that suggests, while there will be more assistance from the headset itself, the new Google VR headset will continue to derive its core operation from Android smartphones. To that end Google is said to be embedding new VR software into the next version of its Android OS.
The report claims that Google will effectively adopt its Nexus model for this new VR venture, providing a high-end template for third party manufacturers to emulate.
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Expect to see this new headset take a box at Google I/O in May. It could then see release in September, according to the report.
Just last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Cardboard was “just the first step” for the company’s VR efforts. “Beyond these early efforts, you’ll see a lot more from us and our partners in 2016,” he added.