Google announces untethered VR headsets

Google has announced an expansion of its Daydream VR programme, including a new untethered VR headset.

The announcement was made at Google I/O 2017 during a talk by Google VP for VR Clay Bavor.

Bavor said: “We asked, ‘how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience.’”

Launched in October, the Daydream View was a phone holster. The new headset will be standalone, with tracking technology called WorldSense.  A company blogpost states:

“WorldSense enables positional tracking, meaning the headset tracks your precise movements in space – and it does this all without any external sensors to install.”

You can watch a promotional video introducing WorldSense here.

The headset will not require external cameras due to the sensors in the device itself.

After the presentation at I/O, HTC Vive announced its Standalone VR headset.

AR and Visual Positioning Service

Google also announced that its partnership with Tango will be yielding a new Visual Positioning Service (VSP) for Google Maps.

Whereas GPS is great when it comes to outdoor mapping and tracking, the goal of VPS is to guide users once they are inside their chosen location.

One potential application of the technology that Google is considering is:

“…imagine how precise location enabled by VPS, combined with audio interfaces, could help visually-impaired people navigate through the world.”

Education is another area that Google believes AR could be applied. With the companies Pioneer Program students can visit sites around the world and observe natural phenomena without ever leaving their classroom. 

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