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Google and BBC scrap VR projects


The BBC has disbanded the team it created to make virtual reality (VR) content, saying its funding has ended. It comes as Google halts sales of its Daydream View headsets, admitting it does not see a future for smartphone-based VR. There have been questions over the long-term future for the technology which has failed to become a mass market product. One analyst said it could be several years before VR lived up to its hype. In a statement, the BBC said: "The VR Hub had funding for two years so is now wrapping up its production and commissioning. "It's been an important part of our charter commitment to promote technological innovation and maintain a leading role in research and development which benefits the whole industry." The team was set up in November 2017 and has created VR films across news, comedy, drama and history. Its closure was announced in a blog post. According to research firm IHS Markit, there will be 51 million consumer headsets in use around the world by 2023. "Compared to mobile devices, this represents a niche audience so it is understandable the BBC is reconsidering its VR content strategy," said analyst Piers Harding-Rolls. But he added: "With the introduction of volumetric video and 5G networks capable of providing distribution, VR video content is expected to become more compelling, but we are several years away from realising that vision." Speaking about its decision to abandon Daydream, Google said it had initially seen a lot of potential in smartphone VR. "But over time, we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution.

Google unveils VR headsets that don't need smartphones


What the Google started at last year's I/O conference, where it announced the Daydream mobile virtual reality platform and headset, is now complete with the announcement of Google's new, standalone (no smartphone needed) VR headset project that uses inside out tracking it calls WorldSense. Google's VR headset inside-out positional tracking means that, unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Google's WorldSense VR headsets can operate without external sensor trackers, confirming rumors leading up to Wednesday's reveal. The company announced that it's working with Qualcomm to develop reference models for the standalone headset. The biggest surprise is that there are plans to release WorldSense standalone VR headsets with HTC and Lenovo later this year. The HTC virtual reality headset that will use Google's WorldSense, coming later this year.

Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset


Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).

Humans will be wearing AI headsets that tell us what to do 'within 10 years'


By 2030 we'll all be wearing permanent headsets controlled by artificial intelligence telling us what to do, according to a UK "future expert". David Wood, chair of the London Futurists, worked in the technology industry for 25 years and was predicting the ubiquity of smartphones as early the 1990s. "We'll see people carrying more in their ears, and not just as fashion accessories," he told Daily Star Online. "Headsets are going to get more popular and more powerful." These devices, which could look like visors, glasses or even Apple AirPods, will combine artificial intelligence with augmented reality, providing an all-in-one service to be worn around the clock, Wood says.

Report: Google's Daydream VR headset will cost 79


Google on Tuesday is expected to announce a healthy list of hardware products at an event in San Francisco, Calif. From two Pixel (not Nexus) smartphones to a Google Wi-Fi router, Google Home personal assistant, and 4K Chromecast devices, Google is also expected to announce its first Daydream virtual-reality headset. According to a report from Variety, Google's Daydream VR headset will cost 79. Also worth noting is the headset will reportedly be manufactured by HTC, the same company rumored as the manufacturer of the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Now, before you get too excited, keep in mind that price is in addition to the cost of the Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone required to use the headset.