"We asked, how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience", Google VP for VR Clay Bavor said on stage. HTC and Lenovo are already on board with Google and will launch their own dedicated headsets later in 2017. The idea is that the headset will be able to run straight out of the box, making VR more accessible for a mass market.
Bavor did not elaborate on the new headset's technical specifications, but said that because it would be an all-in-one device. Bavor said WorldSense, which leans on Google's Tango augmented reality system, matches the view in the virtual world with that in the real world, eliminating the need to set up separate position-tracking cameras.
What's unclear is whether these standalone VR devices will be self-contained, like the HoloLens, processing everything on the device.
Google isn't the first Qualcomm customer to make use of the Snapdragon 835 VR Platform.
The headset uses WorldSense, which Google says allows for "precise movement tracking". Neither headset has been named, but HTC's model appears to incorporate both its own "Vive" trademark, as well as the Google "Daydream" name.
There's no release timeline, and as with Daydream a year ago, we're only seeing an outline of the headset - which appears alongside a Daydream-like controller. This lets Google and hardware makers customize the displays, optics, and sensors to be ideal for virtual reality, he said. Along with Google, Microsoft's upcoming headset release will also feature positional tracking functionality. Once again, this is something entirely different, with no phone or PC required to get these mystery headsets to work "later in the year".
Google is also adding VR and AR support for the Google Expedition, its initiative for the Education sector.