Google Reveals WorldSense Standalone VR Headsets, Working With HTC

by Jamie Feltham • May 17th, 2017

Looks like the rumors are true; Google just announced it’s working on its very own standalone VR headsets at its I/O conference. Meet WorldSense.

Google’s VP of VR Clay Bavor introduced this new initiative towards the end of the conference. These devices are being made with partners, a little like Microsoft works with partners for its Windows 10 headsets. The company worked with Qualcomm to create a reference design for these headsets, though it’s not clear if this is the existing reference designs the company has already showcased or new ones.

They’ll be running on Daydream, the mobile VR ecosystem Google established last year, and can already be accessed through certain other mobile-based VR headsets using smartphones. Pictures for the first devices included what look very much like the Daydream controller, a three degrees of freedom device (3DOF).

WorldSense, meanwhile, will provide ‘positional tracking’, like seen on Oculus’ Santa Cruz prototype. The term inside-out tracking wasn’t used, and a brief video showed the headset moving as if it was leaning rather than walking around a space.

Google also confirmed it’s working on a standalone headset with HTC and another with Lenovo. Both are set to come to market towards the end of this year. No prices have been announced yet, but Google has another session on VR at I/O tomorrow.

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  • polysix

    standalones are a complete dead end. Why can many VR fanatics see that but these guys can’t?

    Why is it a dead end?

    Nobody wants to buy ‘all in’ hardware in an unproven market unless it’s <$100 (a standalone with any decent power never will be). VR fanatics don't want sub-par/nerfed VR with low power. Casuals would rather use a CHEAP add-on to something they already own/desire (a phone) and real VR fans want to invest cash in discreet parts – a HMD/Controller kit for their already super powerful PC to leverage their already spent costs.

    Also anyone with their nose to the ground with VR will know buying an 'all in' is ridiculous with the pace VR will improve over the next 2-3 years!

    As said, a dead end. At least until form factor and power are anything like they should be (20 years from now). Until then we need PC's or new powerful consoles to run – wireless – HMDs. Anything less isn't real VR, it's a gimmick and will wear people out/poison the well way before 'real' VR gets a chance to take a hold on the upper level.

    • rabs

      Given that HTC is working with many kind of businesses for the Vive, maybe they found a market for that.
      I see many that used Samsung Gear VR, even though they had to buy a fancy phone just to get a correct mobile headset. This will have inside-out tracking and more efficient hardware (heat dispersion, feature/price).
      But for the general public, I also have doubts…

      By the way, I also don’t understand why people buy smartphones that cost well over 200€… so maybe I have a distorted view of what people want.