Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

Google I/O 2017: Google Releases Standalone VR Headset

Google I/O 2017: Google Releases Standalone VR Headset

Announced by Clay Bavor, vice president in charge of virtual reality, during the annual Google I/O conference, the standalone Daydream headset confirms more than a year of rumours claiming the advertising giant was looking to branch out from smartphone-driven VR projects.

"The Daydream standalone headset reference design created in close partnership with Qualcomm will enable manufacturers to build a whole new category of VR devices".

Google is releasing a major update to its virtual reality platform, Daydream. In fact, if promises are delivered, Google's standalone Daydream VR headsets has already overshadowed its competitors who are significantly expensive and require external tracking sensors as well as a cable connection to a computer system with strong graphics card.

This also makes using a standalone VR headset much better. The company says it's also adding "proactive assistance" to Home, which means notifying you ahead of time if you need to leave early to beat traffic. It's a simple 2D UI inside VR that allows you to look through your notifications and access some of the controls you can usually find on your notification shade.

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As a result, a software update will be bringing support for Daydream to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus later in the year. This option has been available on a high-end headset like HTC Vive, but it requires a cord to connect to a TV. Instant Preview is a new feature where creators can make changes in an environment and then experience them in a headset seconds later without having to wait for lengthy rendering sessions. Tango was used in the creation of WorldSense and it also backs Google's new Visual Positioning Service (VPS). While GPS provides directions to a place, a device with VPS can direct the user directly to objects, such as an item in a store.

So, some exciting days ahead for those keen to enjoy the immersive experience of watching virtual reality videos with a strapped on standalone headset.

Google Home users are going to see some new features, including hands-free calling, and the ability to control select appliances.

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