Google has been working hard on their VR experiences for the last year. In May of this year they unveiled Daydream, their upgrade on Google Cardboard. However, the tech giant were also looking into building their own dedicated VR headset, separate from the Android operating system. Now, it has been reported that this project has now been scrapped, with resources dedicated back towards mobile VR experiences.
Dreaming beyond Daydream
In a report by Recode, Google had started a project in their X labs, a separate alphabet company, looking at building a competitor to Oculus and HTC. The device, whose codename isn’t even known, was allegedly supposed to have its own OS. Google had dedicated 50 employees to working on this device. It appears however that Google has decided to scrap this project, focusing instead fully on their Android VR program. This would suggest that Google is doubling down on its Daydream project, rather than directly competing with the more expensive dedicated VR headsets.
Engadget however suggests that whilst this particular project is shut down, Google is not giving up on a dedicated VR headset. Citing anonymous sources working at Google, the company is looking at a device that works with both VR and AR. Furthermore, employees working on this alleged device have been told that Daydream is not Google’s long term VR strategy.
Google has not commented on either of these articles. However, the details which have been released would make Google’s alleged headset more similar to Microsoft’s Hololens. The same anonymous sources that Engadget refers to say that this device can be used without a computer or phone to power it. This headset sounds very similar to Google’s previous experimentation with AR, Google Glass. With no release date, specifications or even images however, it will likely be a long time before we hear anything more about the headset.