A report from Recode a few days ago said that a project in Google X to create a “high-end standalone” VR headset was recently cancelled in favor of more focus on Android — and, specifically, the Mountain View company’s new Daydream platform. Now, another report (via Engadget) says that Google is indeed still working on a standalone headset, albeit one “that blurs the line between virtual reality and augmented reality.”
Clearly, Daydream is not Google’s long-term vision for AR and VR. We know that the company has bigger dreams for the tech considering its early attempts at AR with Google Glass, its $300 million investment in secretive Magic Leap, and — of course — its recently-cancelled standalone VR headset. Engadget suggests that that vision lies with a headset currently in development that “will offer features more in line with augmented reality systems than existing VR headsets,” and “will not require a computer or phone to power it.”
Engadget also seems to suggest that a Google-made standalone headset that The Wall Street Journal reported on earlier this year could be the device they’re familiar with. That report said that the headset would use “outward-facing cameras” (like the ones seen in the Project Tango/Cardboard fusion we saw at I/O a couple years ago) and a Movidius chip to “track the motion of a user’s head.” That’s purely speculation, though, as said project could very well be the one that was cancelled.
The report says that there is “no release date in sight for the headset,” but that it “remains an important part of Google’s future plans.”