Late last week we reported on rumors that search engine giant Google had axed a possible standalone VR headset set to compete with the likes of the Oculus Rift. Now a new report is suggesting that this isn’t the full story.
Engadget has published a story stating that, while the original report from Recode may well be true, Google is still working on a reality-altering headset of some kind. The original story suggested that around 50 people were working on the device, which was quite possibly the headset that was heavily rumored to be revealed at this year’s Google I/O developer conference. As we all know, that didn’t quite happen, and now it sounds like we won’t see that project at all. Instead we might see something that leans more towards mixed reality.
The new report states that this other headset “blurs the lines” between VR and augmented reality, which sounds much more like an MR platform such as HoloLens or Magic Leap. A source within the company told Engadget that the company’s new mobile VR ecosystem, Google Daydream, was not a “long-term plan” for the future of VR and AR. Instead it’s thought of as a “stepping stone” for a more ambitious piece of hardware.
This new piece of hardware will reportedly be a standalone headset, powered on-board. It will have a display, but it’s said to be designed more for AR than VR. Of course, Google itself invested heavily in the promising but as-yet-unrevealed Magic Leap platform, so it will be interesting to see if this rumored work complements that system in anyway. It would certainly be a strange move to try and compete with a technology it’s poured money into.
Either way, you can sort of see why Google axed not only the rumored VR headset but even its Google Glass AR headset from a few years ago; technology is moving much too quickly for some of these products to have stayed relevant for long.