Not long after a report from Variety yesterday suggested that Google will be showing off a new standalone VR headset at this year’s I/O developer conference, a tipster for Android Police has spotted a trademark at the USPTO that might be related to such an announcement…

The trademark, which relates to “computer hardware”, “computer software”, and “virtual reality headsets”, is for the term “WORLDSENSE” — assumably either “WorldSense” or “Worldsense” when or if it actually lands on the packaging or announcement for a consumer product.

Obviously “computer hardware” and “computer software” could refer to just about anything, but the connection to virtual reality headsets is interesting in the context of yesterday’s report. The report mentioned “inside-out tracking”, which would mean the headset can — to some degree — track your positioning in a space without external peripherals.

And this is purely speculation at this point, but “WorldSense” sounds like it could be related to that feature in one way or another. Perhaps it could refer to this “inside-out tracking” itself, or maybe even another feature that could launch with the headset — like the ability to see through to the outside world like with Google Tango.

As AP notes, though, it seems there was at one point an advertising startup by the same name launched by a couple of former Googlers. It’s entirely possible that we’re all just jumping to conclusions here and that the trademark is instead related to that.

Regardless, we’re at I/O 2017 right now. So we’ll know for sure whether or not this trademark relates to virtual reality soon enough. It seems Google does have some VR announcements in store, since it just this morning published a new Daydream Elements app to the Play Store.

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Stephen Hall

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