An attendee wears a Lenovo augmented reality (AR) headset at MWC 2018. Google could be working on an augmented reality headset to take on the likes of Microsoft's HoloLens and the upcoming Magic Leap headset. That's the word from the guys at WinFuture, who suggest that the Mountain View tech giant's codenamed'Google A65' headset will be powered by a dedicated AR processor from Qualcomm - the QSC603 - a four-core system-on-a-chip that is also rumored to be included in the next-generation Microsoft HoloLens. It's reported that the QSC603 can output video at WQHD resolution, display 3D overlays and supports all the major graphics interfaces including OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulcan. It also has Gigabit WLAN, Bluetooth 5.1 and GPS packed in.
Google unveiled its upcoming VR headset, dubbed the "Daydream View", during its Made by Google event in San Francisco on Tuesday. The View looks nothing like similar VR rigs and, according to Google's VR lead, Clay Bavor, that's a good thing. For one, the headset is crafted from fabric rather than hard plastic. Google worked with a number of clothing manufacturers to create the View's fabric covering, which is available in three colors: Snow, Slate and Crimson. What's more, its phone mounting system is fully self contained and, rather than place the headset's controls on the headset itself or require clunky wands, the View utilizes a small Wii-like remote that stores away in the headset so you don't lose it.
Recode's report states that around 50 employees were working within the clandestine X lab, creating a standalone VR device with a unique operating system, which has been scrapped. Speaking under anonymity, sources told Engadget that Google has been actively assigning individuals to work on a high-end headset in recent months. Team members have been told that Daydream, the mobile VR platform unveiled at Google IO in May, is not the company's long-term plan for virtual and augmented reality. Daydream remains a large focus within Google, of course, with multiple teams working on its development, but it's a stepping stone towards a grander hardware push. Sources said the headset currently in development will not require a computer or phone to power it.
Google's most accessible VR headset is now available in France, the UK, Canada and Germany, via the official store. For something that was meant to bring VR to the masses, Google had been unusually coy about actually putting it out there. The search giant only started selling its own version of the headset in the US in February. Before then, you had to source from third parties (fortunately there are many), or change your cereal or newspaper of choice. Even then, headsets varied in quality for something made of cardboard, and not all the manufacturers offered the newer version, so buying was a bit of an (affordable) minefield.