According to an exclusive by Variety, Google could be set to launch a new standalone virtual reality device at the upcoming Google I/O 2017 developers conference. The report claims that the new VR device will be able to run independent of a mobile or desktop computing system, but it is unclear whether it will run Android or any other operating system.
For the last year or so, Google has been reported to be working on a standalone virtual reality headset that wouldn’t require display support from a smartphone or tethering with a PC. A report by Wall Street Journal last year claimed that Google was working on such a device, and rumors kept circulating regarding the headset for quite some time. Now, before Google I/O 2017 kicks off on May 17, those rumors have re-surfaced, claiming that the device could be ready for a preview at the conference today.
Google has launched two virtual reality devices previously: Google Cardboard, used with a smartphone, and the DayDream VR viewer, that also uses high-end smartphones to power virtual reality apps and games. The new standalone device, however, wouldn’t require a PC or smartphone for power, like Google’s DayDream and Samsung’s GearVR, or Facebook’s Oculus and HTC’s Vive, as it could feature it’s own processor to supply the power.
From the rumors reaching us so far regarding the standalone VR device, Google’s latest VR headset could sport outward-facing cameras, a screen, and a high-end processor to do all the processing as it won’t be connected to a phone or PC.
As for Google I/O 2017, some of the announcements to be made at the keynote could include updates for Google Assistant, more details about the upcoming Android O (Orea?), and new feature and updates for the messaging apps Allo, Duo, and Hangouts.