Next to artificial intelligence, virtual reality has captured the attention of many tech companies in recent years, and Google wants to lead the field with a consumer VR headset that doesn’t rely on a smartphone or PC as the center of command.
Rumor has it Google wants to release the headset as early as this year, one that escapes existing categorizations with bubbling ambitions. The tech giant is rumored to release a mobile-based Samsung Gear VR competitor sometimes soon, maybe in May at Google I/O.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will be using “high-powered” chips from Movidius to manufacture this untethered headset; the chips will power both the device and its linked head-tracking technology.
Interestingly, the rumors seemed to be backed up by a partnership that Movidius made some weeks ago involving its Myriad 2 processing platform. It turns out that Google was interested in working with the company “to bring machine intelligence to devices.”
Last month, Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane wrote a blog post detailing the collaboration it will make with Google in its technological advances in neural networks and machine intelligence.
In spite of the tech giant’s astounding progress, it needs Movidius to figure out how to embed this technology into consumer devices with the necessary power efficiency. This is not the only movement Google has taken toward improving the consumer side of virtual reality.
In the past several months, the company has been focused in Cardboard and Project Tango, two broad platforms that provide a system for third-party VR and AR (augmented reality) hardware manufacturers to build upon.
While Project Tango has still got some way to go before being implemented in a device – Lenovo will release some of the first Tango devices this summer – Google’s Cardboard is already out there. More than 5 million consumers have already strapped the basic VR device on their eager faces.
These rumors are also backed by some interesting job postings that appeared on Google’s site some weeks ago. The tech giant called for a VR Hardware Engineering Technical Lead Manager that would be responsible for directing “system integration of high-performance, battery powered, constrained consumer electronics products.”
Having a battery-powered headset device that doesn’t depend on a PC or smartphone would definitely take the industry to a new level, given that most of the devices in the works now are now attached to developer and consumer devices.
Image Source: CNET