According to new reports, Google is working on a new virtual reality headset which is slated to launch this year.
First reported by the Financial Times, Google is developing a new virtual-reality headset for smartphones, but this time without the flimsy materials. The headset will be a successor to its popular Cardboard option which launched in 2014, with the addition of a more solid plastic casing. The upcoming headset will be similar to Samsung's own VR offering, the Gear VR. The headset is expected to be released alongside new Android VR technology later this year.
According to FT, the headset will use an existing smartphone as its display and for most of its processing power, similar to Gear VR and the existing Cardboard headsets. Currently, Cardboard "relies solely on sensors built into modern smartphones to detect the position of a user's head," explained FT. The Gear VR headset, however, features extra motion sensors. To improve mobile VR viewing for the upcoming Google headset, the company is working to embed new software into Android rather than rely on apps as it does for Cardboard. Between the improved headset and added Android features, Google hopes to improve resolution and latency, making it easier for viewers to use virtual reality gear for longer which would allow developers to create more complex apps. Google has not commented on the reports about the VR headset at this time but CEO Sundar Pichai recently told investors that Cardboard was "just the first step" for VR. Pichai added, "Beyond these early efforts, you'll see a lot more from us and our partners in 2016."
Photo: © iStock.